Tens of thousands of mixed trees will be planted across the Kingdom this July, with National Arbor Day celebrations set to take place Takeo province and several other large scale planting campaigns set to get underway, in a bid to increase greenery and forest cover in Cambodia.

A total of 9,999 luxury trees will be planted on 30 hectares of land during the July 9 Arbor Day celebrations at the Banteay Angkor Forest Rehabilitation Station in Takeo province’s Tram Kak. The planting ceremony will be presided over by His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 

The celebration is being organised by the ministry and the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals. 

The committee has advised the relevant institutions to prepare many kinds of seedlings for the occasion, to benefit forestry, wildlife, biodiversity and the development of tourism resorts. 

National Arbor Day is part of the legacy of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk. When he was alive, he highlighted the importance of planting trees, noting that it is beneficial for both the humans and animals of the Kingdom.

Nheb Sron, director of the provincial agriculture department, said preparations for the celebrations were 80 per cent complete.

“We have worked with several state institutions to grow the saplings already. We will plant the thnong species of luxury tree at a state-owned forest plantation,” he added.

National Arbor Day is marked annually in a different province. It has been held three times before in Takeo, in 1993, 2008 and 2014.

Separately, the Battambang provincial administration is planning to launch its “One House, One Tree” campaign, with the goal of planting 10,000 saplings in July.

Provincial governor Sok Lou said on June 19 that the campaign would target all 14 towns and districts in the province. The first steps will focus on planting in urban areas, in order to promote their beauty, while also clearly demarcating roadside boundaries.

“The campaign will begin on July 11. We ask for the participation of officials, students, and citizens and hope they will maintain the trees that are planted. This will ensure we can all enjoy relaxing beautiful shade, and will help the younger generations to learn about important species of luxury trees,” he explained.

The provincial governor expressed his hope that Battambang town will be more beautiful after the trees grow, and that as a “green” town, it will attract more domestic and international tourists.

The Ministry of Environment has announced that it will host a forum at its headquarters from July 10-16. The event, which will focus on the ongoing “Ponlok Baitong” campaign, will provide an opportunity for people to examine several kinds of trees. Saplings will also be distributed for free, so people can play their part in replanting the Kingdom, whether in schools, pagodas or their own homes.