Kampot plants 100K mangrove seedlings

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Mangrove forests are important habitats for biodiversity and a major resource that maintains the balance of ecosystems. AAC

The “100,000 Mangrove Campaign”, which has seen more than 100,000 mangrove seedlings planted on 15.5ha in eight community fisheries (CFIs) in Kampot province, has wrapped up with encouraging results after nearly a year.

The campaign is co-organised by ActionAid Cambodia (AAC), the Children and Women Development Centre in Cambodia (CWDCC), SAMAKY, and the eight CFIs.

In an announcement on November 18, the AAC said the campaign started from September 2019 to August 2020 in community fisheries in Kampot.

It said the goal of the campaign was to promote public participation to support the eight CFIs in planting 100,000 mangrove trees and organising mangrove planting events and other activities for community development.

The campaign was also started to encourage public participation in the conservation and protection of mangrove forests, which it said are important habitats for biodiversity and a major resource that maintains the balance of ecosystems and the environment.

AAC country director Hong Reaksmey told The Post on November 18 the project was a significant success because the mangrove planting exceeded expectation.

“Planting more than the target of 100,000 trees is a considerable success, but the more important achievement is active participation by the whole community.

“Our project raised funds from outsiders to carry out this campaign, but fishermen who are members of the whole community have all joined together to pick and plant seeds with very little financial support,” he said, adding mangroves attract tourists and promote eco-tourism and Cambodia’s green economy.

Reaksmey called it a true work of community solidarity and said he appreciated the leadership and participation of the eight CFIs. Volunteers included students and young people who worked under the coordination of the Kampot provincial Fisheries Administration and other partner organisations.

He said many other communities have asked AAC to start similar campaigns, but he has not discussed any specific plans yet.

Sim Him, the head of Trapeang Sangke’s Community Fisheries, called mangrove forests the kitchen of poor fishermen. Since the start of the “100,000 Mangrove Campaign”, biodiversity in the community has increased significantly and the number of fishermen has also increased, he said.

Prek Tnaot community fisheries head Ouk Sovannarith said he was happy the community has become an important part of this campaign.

“The campaign is important because more people in the community have become aware of the importance of mangroves and have come together to protect them,” Sovannarith said.

The number of mangroves planted was 111,240 trees, or 11.24 per cent more than the target.