In honour of World Ranger Day, the Ministry of Environment extends earnest thanks to all rangers and their families for their dedicated service and considerable sacrifices made for nature and the environment.

Neth Pheaktra, secretary of state and spokesperson for the ministry, highlighted the significance of World Ranger Day, observed annually on July 31. He underscored the pivotal role park rangers play in environmental protection and conservation, and the physical and mental toll their work often entails.

“The Cambodian people extend their gratitude to all rangers who have performed their duties in the protected areas. Their physical and mental effort in the conservation of natural resources is greatly appreciated,” he said.

Pheaktra noted the challenges of a ranger’s duty, describing it as “difficult and dangerous”.

However, he praised the bravery and perseverance of rangers, both men and women, who undertake regular patrols in Cambodia’s protected areas.

Cambodia is home to over 1,200 rangers who tirelessly work to protect and conserve natural resources across an expansive area of approximately 7.3 million hectares nationwide.

“On behalf of the environment ministry, we extend our thanks to the families – the parents, wives and children – of rangers who have seen their loved ones commit to safeguarding our natural resources for future generations,” he said.

Pheaktra pointed out that the concerted efforts of rangers have enabled Cambodia to reap economic benefits, such as revenue from selling carbon credits and promoting ecotourism, thus contributing to community development and the national economy.

Out Latin, project coordinator of the Cambodian Youth Network (CYN), echoed these sentiments, commending the rangers for their dedication and the sacrifices they have made to preserve the country’s natural resources.

He urged all rangers to remain committed to their responsibilities, to enforce the law diligently on protected areas, and to continue their mission of protection.

“I also implore the Ministry of Environment to consider allowing the communities of Prey Lang and Prey Preah Roka Forest to join patrols with rangers in the conservation of natural resources in these areas,” Latin appealed.

World Ranger Day was first celebrated on July 31, 2007, coinciding with the 15th anniversary of the International Ranger Federation, a body representing park rangers and wardens globally.

Cambodia joined in these celebrations in 2017, spearheaded by the environment ministry. The festivities see participation from various institutions, both local and international organisations, monks, students, community members and the wider public.

World Ranger Day is an occasion to recognise and inspire those rangers who have committed their lives to protecting and preserving nature. In Cambodia, this day also seeks to heighten public understanding of the vital work that local rangers do, while encouraging a collective effort to maintain the health and sustainability of the natural environment.