Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou has initiated the “One House, One Tree” campaign to enhance the beauty of the town, known for its French colonial architecture, and attract more tourists.

Lou took to social media on February 7 to announce that the campaign will launch in June.

“The ‘One House, One Tree’ campaign will start in Battambang town first. We are together for Battambang,” he said.

Deputy provincial governor Chhay Martinal said on February 8 that authorities are selecting target streets for the campaign and preparing saplings for the programme.

He explained that the campaign is likely to start in the rainy season, around June, as the current dry season would make it difficult for young trees to survive.

“The main purpose of the tree planting campaign is to promote the beauty of Battambang town, and create a clean, green environment with plenty of shade, and attract more visitors to the province,” he said.

According to Martinal, the governor the trees that will be planted include ornamental and luxury trees such as koki (Hopea odorata), beng (Afzelia xylocarpa) and thnong (Pterocarpus macrocarpus).

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), described the initiative as an excellent way of maintaining the beauty of the town, as well as a good way to create an environment which protects the welfare of the people living in the province, in addition to attracting tourists.

“Whether it is the construction of infrastructure, the improvement of public parks or the planting of trees, positive actions will contribute to attracting domestic and international tourists. In addition Battambang is a province with many cultural and historical attractions,” she said.

“This campaign will turn Battambang into a green town with plenty of cool shade for the people. Tourists, whether domestic or foreign, like a clean environment and plenty of greenery,” she added.

As a tourism insider, she believes that other provinces should try to make their towns and districts green. Because Cambodia is a country with a hot climate, the planting of more trees would bring great benefits. It is not only good for the environment, but also for the economic growth of the province.

In 2023, Battambang became the first Cambodian town to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), for its unique cuisine.