Preah Rokar Forest spans 90,361 hectares across three districts: Tbeng Meanchey, Chaeb and Chaom Ksan in Preah Vihear province. It borders the Preah Vihear Forest of the northern plains. A total of 22 villages are found in the vicinity of Preah Rokar Forest and the approximately 20,000 villagers depend on the forest for their livelihoods. Kuy and non-Kuy indigenous people have established the Preahrokar Forest Community Network (PFCN), an informal group of volunteers aimed at protecting the forest. The Preah Rokar Forest was designated a Wildlife Sanctuary by sub-decree of the Royal Government of Cambodia on June 9, 2016. The Preah Rokar Wildlife Sanctuary connects two previously established protected areas, providing a vast, contiguous wildlife corridor totaling 687,161 hectares. Located in the heart of the Indo-Burmese Peninsula, it lies within a globally-recognized biodiversity hotspot boasting numerous IUCN threatened species.
Preah Vihear – March 21, 2019
On March 20, 2019 hundreds of people and monks from around Preahroka forest, Phnom Penh and other provinces in Cambodia happened to participate in the Third Tree Ordination in Preahroka organized by Preahroka Forest Community Network (PFCN) at O’skarch, Pring Thom Commune, Choam Khsant District, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia.
Some people might be wondering what Tree Ordination is. Everybody heard about ordinary people are ordained to holy monks, but why should they ordain the tree?
As the monk dialogued, the story is follow from the birth of the Buddha. Our Buddha was born under the tree, enlightened under the tree and also nirvana under the tree. Tree as the nature, it protects all lives on earth from disaster and provides non-exhausted livelihood to support human’s life thus we shall pay highest respects to tree.
These days trees are facing with destruction caused by illegal loggers. In Cambodia as we are Buddhism we believe that to protect with people patrolling is one way and other way is to protect spiritually by ordaining the trees into religious/holy trees and to put curses on anyone who illegally cut down tree as well.