Cambodian King Highlights Significance of Forest on Arbor Day

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (C) plants a tree in Kampong Chhnang province, Cambodia, July 9, 2023. Photo by Sovannara/Xinhua

KAMPONG CHHNANG, Cambodia -- Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on Sunday stressed the importance of forest, saying that it is an invaluable natural resource for human lives and animals on the planet.

Speaking at the annual national Arbor Day, or the tree planting day, here in the country's central part, the monarch said any forest loss would result in flood, tornado, lightning and drought, and deplete water reserves for the need of human beings and animals.

"Forest not only provides economic and social value but also helps maintain the balance of natural environment, purify climate, maintain the stability of water sources, and protect slope ground and biodiversity," Sihamoni said.

The king called on people to help protect forest and all kinds of wildlife to ensure forest resources for this generation and next generations.

"Please continue to contribute so that Cambodia can achieve the goal of sustainable development and become an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country in 2050," Sihamoni said.

At the event, some 13,000 tree seedlings were planted on the parcel of 10 hectares at a tree planting station in Samaki Meanchey district.

Forests cover approximately 8.5 million hectares, or 46.86 percent of Cambodia's land area, according to the country's Ministry of Environment.

Of the total forest cover, some 7.3 million hectares, equivalent to 41 percent of Cambodia's land area, are in the Southeast Asian nation's 76 protected areas and biodiversity corridors, the ministry said.

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