Preah Sihanouk provincial environment and forestry officials said yesterday that they had planted some 17,600 luxury trees in the Prey Toeksap Kbal Chhay protected area as part of a reforestation project after the area was hit with illegal logging.
Mut Sothearith, director of the provincial Environment Department, said three people recently were allegedly caught logging in the area, which consists of a total of 55 hectares of land.
“On Thursday morning, our team planted the 17,600 trees – rosewood, thnong, beng, neang, nuon, koki and chheuteal – on 16 hectares of land [within] the 55 hectares,” he said, adding Kbal Chhay is the most important ecotourism destination in the province.
Yun Min, Preah Sihanouk provincial governor, attended the event, during which he warned he would take legal action against anyone caught clearing the land illegally. He said recently two people were arrested for encouraging people to clear and occupy land in the area illegally.
“We will not tolerate any individual logging to occupy the land in this protected area,” he said.