Tree blessing ceremony
In 2020, Peace Bridges looks forward to expanding its support to more Prey Lang communities who are active in patroling and advocating for the forest. Since 2014, Peace Bridges has been partnering with The Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN). This year, we will help the Prey Preah Roka Forest Community Network (PPRFCN) to mainstream nonviolence and conflict-sensitive approaches to their protection and advocacy efforts in Prey Preah Roka, a protected community forest in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.
To kickstart this collaboration, Peace Bridges staff participated in the tree blessing ceremony organized by PPRFCN in Prey Preah Roka on January 10-11.
At this ceremony, people remembered the ones who have sacrificed their lives to protect the forest. Monks chanted and shared from Buddhist religious texts relevant to protecting the environment. Then the monks blessed 1,000 trees to protect them from loggers.
PPRFCN member Choem Chien told The Phnom Penh Post, “Now the big trees have already been cut down but we are afraid that the perpetrators will come to grab land for farming, so we have to protect the small trees.”
The ceremony was followed by a dialogue between local authorities and the communities about their common interest in protecting Prey Lang. Nop Sokha, a Peace Bridges staff, spoke to the group about the importance of the forest and to encourage them in their efforts.
Monks blessed the trees to protect them
PBO staff Nop Sokha speaks at the tree ceremony