Officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration led a delegation from the 16th World Congress of the World-Bays Club to plant 2,388 mangrove tree saplings on December 11 in Prey Nop district.

Provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun expressed his gratitude for the friendship and cooperation of the general assembly in the management and development of the coastal area.

He said the World-Bays Club members’ cooperation would continue to grow stronger and was a sustainable long-term way of addressing challenges in protecting the environment and mitigating climate change impacts.

He added that the tree planting ceremony was to remind people of the importance of preserving the mangrove forests.

“Mangroves play an important role in supporting the environment and are a corridor which connects ecosystems of the mainland, coastal regions and sea,” he said.

“When the forest grows, we grow. We are only truly rich when we have good forests. Destroying a forest will lead to poverty,” he added.

“Mangroves are a storehouse, a sanctuary, a breeding ground, a source of natural resources and provide many benefits to humans through the provision of food and traditional medicine. They also serve as a barrier against storms, landslides, erosion and rising sea levels, while absorbing carbon and contributing to reducing climate change,” he continued.

The saplings were planted in Prey Nop district’s Ta Ney commune, and are a symbol of the love and long-standing friendship, brotherhood and solidarity among the members of the beach club.

Present at the planting was the co-founder of the World-Bays Club, Bruno Boda, along with current club president Michel Bujold. Ny Phally, secretary of state at the tourism ministry and provincial governor Chamroeun were also in attendance.

Cambodia has 58,852ha of mangrove forest, with 9,352ha of them in Preah Sihanouk province, according to the provincial administration.