Ministry of Environment rangers will soon receive training from experts with the US Forest Service in a bid to improve their ability to crack down on forest crimes and protect conservation areas.

US Forest Service officials on Tuesday met with Environment Minister Say Sam Al to discuss cooperating on a training project, according to a brief statement posted on the ministry’s official Facebook page on Tuesday.

Chea Samang, head of protected areas at the Ministry of Environment, on Wednesday said the training will be 11 months long and is scheduled to begin next month, and will be funded by the US.

Samang said not all of the ministry’s 1,260 rangers would undergo the training but the ministry has yet to identify how many will take part.

“The training is to strengthen the ability of the rangers for the work of managing the protected areas,” he said. “We [will] train [on] the needs and roles of rangers in managing the protected areas.”

A spokesman with the US Embassy had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.