Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Oddar Meanchey animals threatened

Oddar Meanchey animals threatened

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Villagers and monk inspects a log in the forest. Supplied

Oddar Meanchey animals threatened

All species of animals in the Sorng Rukhavoan Wildlife Sanctuary are facing danger no thanks to night hunters, despite concerted efforts to stop the crimes, say activists and environment officials.

The 30,254-hectare sanctuary spans across the Sorng Rukhavorn and Rattanak Rokha community forests, as well as areas flooded by the Stung Treng II hydroelectric dam in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district.

Sorng Rukhavoan community forest head, the venerable Bun Saluth, told The Post on Monday that the sanctuary had been vulnerable to hunting, illegal logging and land clearing before it was designated a protected area.

Saluth said deforestation in the area had declined to around five per cent, but hunting had continued unabated, mostly at nighttime when it is difficult for rangers and activists to patrol the forest.

The monk said concerted action to protect the forest started after officials and community members began educating villagers who were once loggers and hunters themselves about the benefits of natural resources and the consequences of losing them.

“Hunting continues to happen with offenders using illegal electric devices at night that could also cause dangers for patrollers,” Saluth said.

Provincial environment department director Phuong Lina echoed the monks’ concerns. He said forestry and wildlife crimes have not been completely eliminated because some offenders start their activities only at nighttime, making it hard for community members and rangers alike.

He said officials and villagers had managed to intercept many illegal activities in the area.

However, Adhoc provincial coordinator Srey Naren was sceptical, claiming conspiracy was a likely cause.

“The protection and deforestation happen simultaneously. I think if there was no collaboration, the crimes wouldn’t be possible.

“There might be collusion between illegal traders and the relevant authorities managing the area. [The government] must look into this because we don’t want to have patrollers and destroyers colluding,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Law change ‘welcomed’ by Kem Sokha as it goes for review

    The Permanent Committee of the National Assembly met on Wednesday to discuss the proposed amendment to Article 45 of the Law on Political Parties – something “supported and welcomed” by former opposition leader Kem Sokha – and put it up for review by its parliamentary commission. The amendment