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Cambodia Launches Ambitious Campaign to Plant Over 1 Million Trees Annually

PHNOM PENH, May 30, 2024 — Cambodia has embarked on a dynamic initiative to plant at least 1 million trees each year, aiming to bolster social, economic, and climate resilience. Dr. Eang Sophalleth, Minister of Environment, highlighted this commitment during the inauguration of the USAID Conserve project on Wednesday, May 29, in Phnom Penh.

The minister emphasized that Cambodia is the first country in Southeast Asia to adopt a long-term carbon-neutral development strategy (LTS4CN), which envisions a comprehensive response to climate change. The strategy, known as the environmental chakra, is based on the principles of being clean, green, and sustainable. It encompasses a broad spectrum of strategic actions designed to combat, adapt to climate change, and foster a green economy, aiming to achieve the Royal Government of Cambodia's strategic objective of maintaining 60% forest cover and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Dr. Sophalleth also stated Cambodia’s readiness to collaborate with the international community on climate change responses and expressed gratitude towards all partners, including USAID, for their support in conserving the nation’s natural resources and environment.

The minister expressed strong hope that the activities of the five-year USAID Conservation Project, which operates in Koh Kong and Sihanoukville provinces, the Prey Lang landscape, and the floodplain forest area around Tonle Sap Lake (Zone 3), align well with the priorities of the Royal Government of Cambodia. Particularly, these initiatives support the first phase of the Pentagon Strategy, which tasks the Ministry of Environment and the National Council for Sustainable Development with managing protected areas and overseeing sustainable development in Cambodia, in conjunction with the ministry's chakra strategy.

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