The Phnom Penh Post
Firm to plant 10M eucalyptus trees in Kratie, Stung Treng
THINK Biotech (Cambodia) Co Ltd plans to plant 10 million eucalyptus trees on nearly 10,000ha in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces from May to August this year and is also looking for partners to plant more trees, according to the company’s report seen by the The Post on May 24.
Think Biotech director Lu Chu Chang said the 10 million trees on 8,500ha is part of the first phase of the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2025, when about 100 million to 120 million trees on 100,000ha are expected.
“The company has increased the number of trees planted in 2021 to 10 million and will increase numbers next year to meet market demand for timber in Cambodia’s wood processing industry, where there is great demand, especially in the construction sector,” Chu Chang said.
According to Chu Chang, from 2018 to 2020, the company had already planted about 3.6 million trees.
He said more than 5,000ha of 34,000ha had been used, and the company has been granted the rights to state-degraded forest land in the Boeung Char Rehabilitation and Dissemination Stations in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.
The company, Chu Chang said, has been working with Cambodia’s wood processing industry to develop tree plantations. The company is now trying to discuss with local communities in the area who have unused land to plant seedlings and work in partnership to create jobs.
Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the government had been promoting more investment in plantations to increase forest cover and create sustainable wood usage.
“The advantage of plantations is that they process wood from root to tip, and it also contributes to the creation of green cover and plays an important role in replacing the use of native trees,” he said.
According to Pheaktra, tree plantations in Cambodia will help reduce the import of processed wood from abroad and create a sustainable domestic source of wood as natural resources play an important role in preserving the planet’s ecosystem.
However, Chea Chamroeun, president of the NGO Save Environment and Agriculture, said on May 25 that planting trees could not protect the environment as fully grown eucalyptus trees would be cut down for use. The trees also cause serious damage to soil quality.
“Where eucalyptus trees have been planted, there has been no new sustainable growth, and planting them has not been economically viable. It has affected the future of the agricultural economy,” he said.
Pheaktra disagreed, saying eucalyptus trees were not detrimental to the land.
“Experts have confirmed that there is no problem,” he said.