The Kampot provincial Department of Environment on September 13 provided 40 walkie-talkies to rangers to assist with their duties to protect and preserve the Preah Monivong Bokor National Park.

Walkie-talkies are hand-held two-way radios that allow for fast long-range voice communication between groups of people even in areas where there is no cellular service and without requiring that one party dial another’s number if the devices are set to the same frequency.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said during the handover ceremony that the 40 walkie-talkies were in addition to some drones and other equipment that were provided to them in late August.

He said information technology and communication tools such as these assisted the rangers in managing and conserving natural resources. The walkie-talkies and other equipment will facilitate their communications with each other while patrolling forest and enable them to quickly request back-up from other rangers when encountering criminal activity.

“This is one of the most important tools for us to have because if we do not have the right technological tools, we will certainly not be able to catch up with offenders because the offenders themselves also use technology to provide information to each other to evade clampdowns,” he said.

Pheaktra encouraged the rangers to continue learning more about new technologies to modernise themselves and update their understanding of the evolution of information technology.

He noted that Cambodia currently has 1,260 rangers protecting and conserving 7.3 million hectares of land – about 41 per cent of Cambodia’s total area. One ranger must therefore protect and conserve nearly 6,000ha so the use of modern technology therefore acts as a force multiplier for the rangers and increases their efficiency and efficacy.

He thanked all the rangers for their sacrifices and praised them for their strength and efforts to overcome all obstacles while performing their work professionally and taking responsibility for the cause of protecting Cambodia’s environment and natural resources.