Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wildlife busts in Kingdom’s north

Wildlife busts in Kingdom’s north

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Five men are held by authorities near Preah Vihear province for forestry crimes on Saturday. Photo supplied

Wildlife busts in Kingdom’s north

The Mondulkiri provincial Environment Department launched a campaign among the Banong, Krueng and Tumpuon ethnic communities to create awareness about the importance of wildlife to the ecology and tourism sector. The communities live close to wildlife sanctuaries.

The move comes after authorities discovered and destroyed 4,000 traps that were laid to catch animals and jailed five hunters who possessed home-made weapons in the first seven months of this year.

Keo Sopheak, the department’s director, told The Post yesterday that the campaign started on August 23 and will continue every weekend starting from the Sre Pok Wildlife Sanctuary. It will then move to Phnom Prich, Lumphat, Keo Seima and finally be conducted in public places throughout Mondulkiri province.

He said the campaign focused on wildlife and biodiversity, and villagers were educated via video clips produced by a special task force from the Environment Department.

“We are really proud that our people supported the campaign and expressed their opinions. They even asked our officials for a strategic plan to protect, preserve and develop our wildlife sanctuary,” said Sopheak.

Un Chanthy, the deputy director of the Information Office at Mondulkiri province, said 70 villagers from the Sre Hoy village, in Sre Hoy commune, Koh Nhek district, participated in the project.

The campaign, he said, covered a wide range of topics from illegal wildlife trading to how different agencies such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, Wildlife Conservation Society and government officials jointly worked to tackle wildlife crime.

“After listening to the instructions and watching the video clips, villagers assured that they will spread the information to their families to stop hunting, laying traps and eating wildlife,” Chanthy said.

The authorities are on their heels to protect endangered wildlife in the area as poachers continued to hunt animals in the restricted area and there is no sign of the crime abating.

Separately on Saturday, five villagers in Preah Vihear province were put in pre-trial detention on charges of forestry crimes committed at the protected Phnom Thnout Wildlife Sanctuary in Sangkum Thmey district.

Preah Vihear provincial court deputy prosecutor Phy Sithorng said the five were charged on three counts, including “using chainsaws to illegally fell trees, hauling forestry products without a permit and illegal possession of weapons”.

“Hauling forestry products only results in a fine, but the other two crimes with aggravating circumstances carry prison sentences,” she said.

According to the 2002 Forestry Law, the charge of hunting endangered species alone carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to 100 million riels ($2,500).

Phnom Thnout wildlife sanctuary director Meas Nhem said the men, who besides logging had also hunted wild animals, were arrested at the sanctuary in Sdav commune while they were hauling timber out of the forest.

During the raid, the authorities seized two cubic meters of timber, chainsaws, two home-made guns, some illegal electric fishing devices and animal traps.

“We’re investigating to flush out their accomplices,” he said.

Preah Vihear provincial environment department director Song Chansocheat said the case is in the court’s hands.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • First case of coronavirus reported in the Kingdom

    Cambodia reported its first case of the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng announced. He said medical specialists detected the virus in a Chinese tourist in Sihanoukville. The minister said Jia Jianhua, 60, travelled from Wuhan city, where the outbreak

  • PM urges precaution amid virus outbreak

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday called on all Cambodians to bump up precautions to avoid contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already killed more than 50 people in China. The prime minister told the public to remain calm but alert about the possibility of

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the

  • Gov’t answers garment buyers’ complaint

    Some of the biggest buyers in the Kingdom’s garment sector have urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to address issues faced by unions and workers – a request a senior official said was out of touch with the situation on the ground. The letter addressed to

  • App to connect farmers to millions

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has soft-launched a mobile app that connects farmers with potential buyers and gives them access to critical market information. The ministry’s Agriculture Marketing Office chief Meach Yady said the ‘CamAgriMarket’ app gives farmers a platform to showcase