Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Environment ministry looks into illegal posts in M’kiri sanctuary

Environment ministry looks into illegal posts in M’kiri sanctuary

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rangers remove posts illegally erected on State land in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province on Sunday. The environment ministry has 1,200 rangers nationwide to conserve natural resources and prevent crime in protected areas. Heng Chivoan

Environment ministry looks into illegal posts in M’kiri sanctuary

The Ministry of Environment is investigating a group that erected more than 50 stone and wooden posts and built fences on State land in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province.

Its spokesman Neth Pheaktra said he recently inspected the activities while leading a delegation and a group of journalists on a trip to the sanctuary.

“Fences are being erected illegally. We are investigating who is behind this because it is a serious matter,” Pheaktra said.

And he had a message for the perpetrators: “Stop this activity immediately because it’s illegal. We will enforce the law without any exception.”

Mondulkiri province is home to six protected areas with a total area of one million hectares. They are the wildlife sanctuaries at Keo Seima, Srepok, Phnom Nam Lear, Lumphat, Phnom Prich, and the northeast biodiversity conservation corridor.

To manage them, the Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment employs 104 rangers while the ministry has 1,200 rangers nationwide acting as forest guards to protect and conserve natural resources and prevent crime in protected areas.

The rangers organise patrols on foot and use motorbikes and cars. They collect information through the use of modern technology, with technical support from partner organisations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rangers remove illegal posts used by land theives to cordon off plots of state property as their own. Heng Chivoan

Forest activist Kreung Tola said large-scale encroachment on State land in Mondulkiri province has stopped. However, small-scale encroachment still occurs on areas of 10ha or less.

“If we want to identify the mastermind, just ask the local authority, village or commune. Find out who is behind it, arrest one or two officials involved in the crime and put them in jail. Then we will know the mastermind,” Tola said.

Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary head Prum Vibol Ratanak said posts have been set up on hundreds of hectares of State land and rangers have been patrolling and removing them.

“This is not the first time that we have removed the posts. We have done it many times and have removed hundreds of posts from this location. Today we removed more than 50 wooden poles,” he said.

The Mondulkiri provincial environment department said rangers patrolled the protected areas 2,995 times this year and investigated 1,528 forest crimes.

Eighty-four cases have been sent to court, 26 settled with fines, 364 chainsaws seized, 34 vehicles impounded and 2,957 traps removed.

Pheaktra said Cambodia has a total of 66 natural protected areas and biodiversity conservation corridors, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, multi-use areas, and landscape protection areas totalling 7.3 million hectares or 41 per cent of the Kingdom’s total land area.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol