Rangers from Mondulkiri and Kratie provinces have received training designed to improve their procedural skills when it comes to enforcing natural resource protection measures. The Ministry of Environment plans to hold additional training sessions in mid-March.

The training was organised by Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia (WCS Cambodia) in collaboration with the ministry for 42 rangers, police and Military Police officers.

According to a statement by WCS Cambodia, the courses aimed to build the capacity of the participants and improve their knowledge of Protected Area Law, legal documents related to enforcement and how to prepare them correctly, as well as ranger’s rights, roles and responsibilities.

“The two training courses were held at Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary headquarters with financial support from the CAMPAS project. Each course lasted three days,” WCS said.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post that the training would give park rangers a stronger foundation in note taking and evidence collection. This meant that case files sent to court would be more likely to result in convictions.

“It also contributes to the exchange of experiences of rangers, which is important because they are also judicial officials. Their role is to enforce environmental laws and to do this effectively, we need to make sure that any cases they file are airtight and that the paperwork has been completed appropriately,” he added.

Following the success of these courses, Pheaktra said that on March 15-16 the ministry would run classes which would disseminate protected area laws in Kep province. These training sessions would be attended by rangers, police and Military Police officers, and court officials from Kep and neighbouring Kampot.

Having the participation of police and court officials meant that the three branches could integrate their shared knowledge, resulting in more effective protection of natural resources, he added.