The Zero-Snaring Campaign is gaining popularity, with more artists, organisations, partners and citizens participating than expected. The Ministry of Environment will launch a similar campaign in the Cardamom Mountains after this round is wrapped up.

This campaign reached Kampong Thom province on August 12, with hundreds of students, artists, partner organisations, provincial authorities and senior officials of the ministry parading and erecting signs and banners that demanded an end to snaring.

Kampong Thom was the fifth province to be targeted by the campaign after Kratie, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri and Preah Vihear. It will continue to Ratanakkiri in September.

Over the past five months, 47 restaurants have announced a boycott of bush meat, including 32 restaurants in Mondulkiri and five each in Kratie, Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom provinces.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the main purpose of the campaign was to make the protected areas safe and end the threat posed by snaring.

He said that after it ended, the ministry would evaluate the results of the six-month campaign.

He said, however, that in the first five months of the campaign, he had noted many positive points, especially an increase in the understanding of the public on the impact of snaring. This had led to a drop in the consumption of wild meat, and they had also learned about the importance of biodiversity.

“We will look further into the results that we have achieved, evaluate them in a scientific way with our partners and design future plans accordingly,” he said.

He said that after these six provinces, the next campaign will target the Cardamom Mountain provinces – Kampong Speu, Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang and Kampong Chhnang – all of which covered large areas of protected areas where many snares had been discovered.

Famous Cambodian singer Meas Soksophea said she created the Meas Soksophea Heart Foundation in 2010 to contribute to conservation.

She expressed her excitement at being part of the campaign and she would promote it further through various activities such as music videos and social media posts.

“I love this work, because I want my Cambodian fans to love nature and wildlife. I aim to change their attitudes so they contribute to helping society,” she said.