Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New guidance set for ranger weapon use



New guidance set for ranger weapon use

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The guideline prohibits anyone from firing weapons, even when on an authorised mission, except in case of self-defence. MoE

New guidance set for ranger weapon use

Following instructions from the ministries of Interior and National Defence, the Ministry of Environment has issued a strict set of guidelines on the storage and use of weapons by forest rangers and environment officials in natural protected areas.

This guideline prohibits anyone from firing weapons, even when on an authorised mission, except in special cases to defend themselves from immediate danger.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the guideline was intended to properly control the use of weapons and ammunition in natural protected areas in line with existing laws.

“The guideline was sent to relevant officials including all environment officials and directors of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. It instructed them to strictly adhere to the guidance,” he said.

To ensure environment officials operate in line with the Criminal Code, the Law on Natural Protected Areas and the Law on the Management of Weapons, Explosives and Ammunition, the Ministry of Environment said warehouses must be used, with lockable storage units to safely house weapons.

Inventory lists should also be prepared for all weapons and ammunition.

The guideline, which was signed by Minister of Environment Say Sam Al on Monday, said environment officials could only carry weapons on a mission to prevent or crack down on natural resource crimes in the natural protected area under their jurisdiction.

It said they must have weapon identification cards and official documents authorising their missions.

“After a mission is over, all weapons must be collected, cleaned and stored in warehouses.

“Bullets are to be removed from guns and the guns locked away safely. Inventory lists are to be recorded properly and clearly,” the guideline said.

It also ordered environment officials to make a report, including the names of one or two witnesses, to competent local officials within 24 hours of discovering the loss of any weapon, ammunition or identification card.

“Rangers in natural protected areas who are entitled to use weapons are prohibited from selling, transferring or lending weapons or ammunition to any individual under any circumstances.

“The head of each nature protected area office is responsible for meticulously managing the storage and use of weapons and ammunition,” the guideline said.

Forest activist Heng Sros said he understood that forest rangers were entitled to carry weapons to protect themselves and prevent deforestation. However, he said some rangers had used their weapons to threaten environment activists and defend loggers.

“They carry weapons to frighten people, but they don’t dare to shoot timber traders and loggers. Instead, they use their guns to threaten environment activists and prevent people from protecting the forest,” he said.

Pheaktra said the Ministry of Environment currently manages 57 natural protected areas covering 7,249,024ha.

They include national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, Unesco World Heritage Sites, biodiversity conservation corridors and Ramsar Sites – wetland sites designated to be of global importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The ministry employs some 1,220 rangers to protect and preserve the natural protected areas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Show evidence of Chinese military base, critics told

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said he had had enough of certain countries and opposition groups claiming Cambodia had allowed China to base its military in Cambodia and dared critics to show clear evidence. Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over a groudbreaking

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from