The Ministry of Environment and Mondulkiri Provincial Administration – along with partner organisations – co-organised a workshop to improve the implementation of laws against local and cross-border wildlife trafficking in the province.

The workshop was presided over by ministry undersecretary of state Sim Yaren, who was joined by provincial deputy governor Chhim Kan, provincial court deputy prosecutor Eang Sokun and provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak. Also in attendance were officials from the World Wild Fund for Nature Cambodia (WWF-Cambodia), Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia (WCS-Cambodia) and BirdLife International Cambodia, along with environment rangers.

The workshop aimed to share experiences and enhance cooperation between the government and partners organisations on biodiversity conservation in the eastern highlands of Cambodia. The workshop also brought together officials and law enforcement officers from both inside and outside of the protected areas in the province.

Issues regarding snares, hunting, trafficking and the illegal wildlife trade – both at home and across borders – were also discussed.

Yaren said at the workshop that its goal was to share the impact of wildlife trafficking and explore law enforcement solutions that would protect and conserve natural resources and biodiversity in the province for all generations to come.

“Natural resources are the treasures of the people. We must all preserve them and must strive to protect them for the benefit of the nation and the people of Cambodia,” he said.

He added that Cambodia had been recognised as rich in biodiversity, with nearly 5,000 species. All of these resources were of great significance to the development of the national economy and the people’s wellbeing and livelihoods. The protection and preservation of the resources is among the government’s highest-priority tasks.

Kan thanked WSC-Cambodia and the environment department for helping put together this workshop.

“Today’s workshop will send a strong message to local communities as well as the authorities, who must all have a clear understanding of management strategies in their respective jurisdictions and participate in protecting and conserving wildlife,” he said.

Sopheak hoped that the workshop will benefit local communities as well as local authorities, the armed forces and all civil servants.