The Ministry of Environment will organise the second National Orchid Day on May 11 to spotlight the wide range of orchids in Cambodia, especially the Kingdom’s wild species.
The ministry said on May 6 that the day will be organised at the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) in Phnom Penh. Environment minister Say Samal – also chairman of the National Council for Sustainable Development – will preside over the celebration. Officials from several ministries and institutions, foreign embassies, and the private sector, as well as environmental experts and students, are expected to attend the event.
The ministry said the occasion will be celebrated to educate the public about wild orchids in Cambodia, to share the progress of their preservation at the Sok An Phnom Kulen Centre for Orchid Research and Conservation in Siem Reap province, promote natural tourism, and to enable networking among researchers and boost orchid preservation in Cambodia.
There will also be an exhibition on how to transplant orchids and other rare plants, and examples of other rare plants, as well as natural products.
The UYFC said exhibition stalls will be offered free of charge to those who wish to display their plants. A participant can showcase three species of orchid, but with a total of no more than 30 vases.
Sok Vichea, a biology researcher, said on May 8 that he will bring about 10 orchid species to showcase at the exhibition.
He said it was his understanding that the exhibition would also permit local nature lovers to display local and imported plants, as a means of motivating the public to love plants, which are some of the Kingdom’s most precious natural resources.
“Most of the participants who will display their plants at the exhibition are decorative plant sellers. Others are members of the public who love to grow orchids at home – some of them have many varieties and would like the opportunity to show them off to the public,” he said.
Citing a note from the UK’s prestigious Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Vichea said Cambodia has named about 300 species of native orchid, but the number could be somewhere between 500 and 1,000, as more extensive research was required. The environment ministry had indentified 200 varieties.
Separately, the Apsara National Authority (ANA) will launch Angkor Plant Park on May 9. The park sits on 15ha of land and has more than 500 species of plants. It was established to beautify the Angkor Archeological Park and to attract tourists, as well as for students and researchers to study different plant species.
Ahead of the launch, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona, who is the ANA board of director, visited the park on May 5.
The Angkor Plant Park also has a zoo, in addition to five separate park areas, each with its infrastructure constructed in a different Khmer style.