Minister of Environment Eang Sophalleth has announced the free provision of one million seedlings to residents throughout Kampot province, in order to increase the green spaces of the province.

Via the environment ministry’s Facebook page, the minister explained on November 19 that the free distribution of the seedlings aims to transform schools, homes, pagodas, and communities into verdant spaces.

“The critical role of trees in absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing life-sustaining oxygen plays a pivotal role in mitigating the substantial carbon dioxide emissions resulting from human activities,” he said.

Phan Sambo, a teacher at Touk Meas High School in Kampot province, said that promoting greenery in school grounds through the provision of seedlings and the reduction of plastic use is very important for students, as well as their communities.

“Without careful consideration and attention for the environment in schools and the reduction of plastics, it will have a negative impact on the environment and lead to health impacts on humans and animals. I urge all people to participate in the implementation, to create a clean environment in Cambodia,” he added.

Kong Samneang, head of the Federation of Education Services in Cambodia, noted that if the planting campaign is successful, it would improve the quality of education of students through the provision of a fresh, green environment. At the same time, he also urged the ministry to increase more planting throughout the country.

“Increasing green coverage is not just about planting trees. In order for the planting process to be successful, the ministry should have clear plans and monitor the progress of the trees. They need to ensure that it matches the ministry’s goals and prevents deforestation activities,” he said.

According to Sophalleth, the tree planting campaign demonstrates the ministry’s strong support for the political agenda outlined by the government’s Phase One of the Pentagonal Strategy 2023-2028. The government has emphasised the prioritisation of natural resource management and environmental preservation.

He said this policy is the first priority of the government and is integrated within the five strategic frameworks of the environment ministry, which includes pollution reduction, the robust management of protected areas, environmental and climate change education, sustainable governance and finance modernisation, and the promotion of green diplomacy.