PHNOM PENH, April 30 (FN) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to register five new forests with a total of about 951,325 hectares in the country's Protected Forest Area list.

The five forests are Prey Long(305,366 hectares) in Kompong Thom, Kratie and Stung Treng provinces; Prey Kravanh Khang Tbong (443,134 hectares) in Koh Kong, Pursat and Kompong Speu provinces; Prey Preah Roka (80,823 hectares) in Preah Vihear province; Prey Siem Pang Khang Lech (65,070 hectares) in Stung Treng province; and Prey Veunsai (56,932 hectares) in Stung Treng and Ratanakkiri provinces.

In a sub-decree signed on Thursday and received by Xinhua on Saturday, Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of Environment to continue its procedures to register the five forests in the kingdom's Protected Forest Area list.

Environment Minister Say Samal said in a seminar on Monday that the government had worked on this plan for two-and-a-half years before deciding to include the five forests as new protected areas.

"This truly shows the government's efforts in protecting and preserving forests and biodiversity," he said.

With the new five forests, the protected forest areas in the Southeast Asian country have increased to 28 with a total of nearly 6.5 million hectares.