Government officials and volunteers on Sunday flocked to a stretch of road near the Lao border in Stung Treng province to plant thousands of palm tree seeds.
Provincial Governor Mom Saroeun joined 500 government officials, residents, servicemen and women and students in planting about 30,000 palm tree seeds along a road that leads to the Lao border.
The seeds were planted on both sides of the road, between post markers 040 and 042, a portion of the road that stretches about 10 kilometres.
Prom Chantha, director of the provincial rural development department, yesterday said aside from improving the scenery, the trees would serve as a reminder to the younger generation about their heritage.
“Thirty-thousand palm trees were planted for the purpose of preventing water from flowing onto the road and for beauty,” Mr Chantha said, adding that the trees are meant for the next generation of Cambodians.
He noted that it was not Mr Saroeun’s first time planting trees with citizens along a road, and that it was the second time a seed planting event was held in the province.
In 2016, the provincial governor planted about 20,000 palm tree seeds along National Road 7. About 70 percent of the seeds grew, while others failed to grow. According to Mr Chantha, the practice will continue.
“The province and our department will plant more palm trees this year and more the following years,” Mr Chantha said.
Last year, more than 5,000 palm trees were planted in Kampong Cham province’s Srey Santhor district.
Palm trees have a practical significance to Cambodians and the trees are widely used. The fruits can be eaten, while the wood can be carved into utensil.
Last month during an Arbor Day celebration in Kratie province, King Norodom Sihamoni called for more trees to be planted.
During his speech, King Sihamoni called on all relevant authorities to prevent illegal logging across the Kingdom and urged people to plant more trees.
He said trees play a valuable role in economic growth and help protect the environment by preventing erosion, noting that they also provide shelter for humans and wildlife.
“I appeal to monks, the authorities and all countrymen across the Kingdom to plant all kinds of trees, including palm trees, at pagodas, public places, along the streets […] villages and farms in order to provide protection for humans and animals,” King Sihamoni said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen in the past called on citizens to take care of palm trees because palm trees are a part of the national identity. He said the trees are beneficial to locals and that they also attract foreign tourists.
“Some countries do not have palm trees like in Cambodia, but they brought it from our country to plant it [there] in order to enhance beauty along their streets and resorts,” Mr Hun Sen said.