Phnom Penh (FN), Jan. 16 - While the natural forest plays an important role in reserving the Earth’s ecology system, people around the world, especially in Europe and the U.S., have chosen not to buy natural wood-made furniture, but have supported the use of furniture made of tree planting products, which experts believe to reduce the illegal logging and to sustain natural forest. With 50 percent forest coverage, Cambodia is making efforts to protect its natural resources through the establishments of natural reservation and preservation areas - and up to now, it accumulates approximately 7.2 million hectares of land or around 41% of the nation’s total areas - all of which are under the administration of the Ministry of Environment. The Royal Goverment of Cambodia is encouraging investments in tree planting in a bid to increase ‘green’ coverage and to create a sustainable source of wood, which would contribute to the environment protection.

Based on the data obtained from Sihanoukville-based Special Economic Zone, thousand cubic meters of wood have been processed and exported, and while the local raw materials are inadequate, the manufacturers of wooden-made boards, tiles, furnitures, tables, closets, etc. have imported tree planting raw materials from abroad to meet the purchasers’ orders. Steven Jao, a General Manager of a manufacturer, said his firm has purchased acacia from the local farmers for its processing business. Liv Sienglin, a manager of the Sihanoukville-based wooden board-manufacturer Coowin Co., said Cambodia-made products have been imported to the U.S. and European Union. He welcomed the tree planting for processing purposes, adding that the more available of the local wood processing raw materials, the less import of processed wood. His company is ready to purchase them for processing business.

In relation to the tree plantation, Think Bio-Tech (Cambodia) Co. Ltd has, under the cooperation with MAFF’s Forestry Administration, obtained a license to lease state-own forest land for planting industry-purposed trees over 34,007 hectares of land in Prey Char Extension and Restoration Station located in Kratie and Steung Treng’s Siem Bok district, as stipulated in the Council of Ministers’ letter #999 dated 12 August 2011. The firm’s CEO and head of the Wood Processing Association Lu Chhujang said “following the company’s management change in late 2018, Think Bio-Tech Co. has revised its investment plan, adding a target of planting over 30 million young trees over 34,007 hectares of land from 2020 to 2022 in Prey Char Extension and Restoration Station - which is located in Kratie and Steung Treng’s Siem Bok district - the area the company has been licensed to use state-own land forest to plant trees for industry sector, under the cooperation of MAFF’s Forestry Administration.”

He added that “tree plantation development is useful in supplying raw materials for wood processing industry, while construction sector in Cambodia has been blossoming, especially in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province, where high-rise buildings are mushrooming.” He stressed that since November 2019, the company has cleared 5,000 hectares of land, and plans to begin planting 7 million young trees commencing May 2020. From 2021 to 2022, the company plans to clear 10,000 hectares of land per year and plants a total of 25 million trees. He added that the company has signed an agreement with Angkor Plywood company to purchase 10 million young trees per year for the firm’s planting target in its business plan, since Angkor Plywood has an institution that has a standard tree breeding technique. He added that “the tree plantation would yield in the next 5 years after planting, and the tree harvest would be used for the nation’s high demand wood processing industry. Currently, due to inadequacy of local supply, Cambodia has been importing the processed wood.”