Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judicial officers, WCS tackle wildlife trade

Judicial officers, WCS tackle wildlife trade

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Early last year, UK-based anti-wildlife trade NGO Traffic reported that Cambodia had seized 17,000kg of elephant ivory from 2009 to 2018, including more than 3.2 tonnes of ivory imported from Mozambique. Photo supplied

Judicial officers, WCS tackle wildlife trade

The Ministry of Justice and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS-Cambodia) held a workshop to share knowledge of legal procedures relating to elephant tusk and rhino horn trafficking. The workshop was held on February 9 with judges, prosecutors and wildlife experts in attendance.

The workshop served as a forum for participants to discuss their experiences combating the black market ivory trade and methods for investigating and solving cases related to transnational wildlife crime, according to WCS-Cambodia.

Justice ministry secretary of state Keng Somarith told The Post on February 10 that Cambodia is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

As a CITES member, Cambodia must strictly enforce national laws against all illegal wildlife trades and particularly against the trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn, Somarith said.

“We invited our judges and prosecutors to receive training from international experts about the experiences and practices of other countries of cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade,” he said.

WCS-Cambodia country director Ken Serey Rotha said the Kingdom is a transhipping country for the illegal wildlife trade though the destination countries for the contraband are typically wealthier ones, primarily China.

He said that to effectively follow CITES, court officials need to be knowledgeable about these crimes and have insight into which procedures are most effective to stop them.

“Another implication is that if these crimes are allowed to happen in Cambodia because of loosely enforced laws, it is basically an invitation for other criminals to come and operate here.

“But the direct impact of failing to crack down on wildlife crimes is a loss of dignity and respect from the international community.

“That respect is hard to earn, but easy to lose. Our leaders have been working to build Cambodia’s reputation as a reliable and responsible partner for many years,” he said.

Early last year, UK-based anti-wildlife trade NGO Traffic reported that Cambodia had seized 17,000kg of elephant ivory from 2009 to 2018, including more than 3.2 tonnes of ivory imported from Mozambique.

More recently, in December 2019, a total of 280 lion bones were seized at Phnom Penh International Airport.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’