Mondulkiri Joins Anti-Snaring Campaign

Environment Ministry Secretary of State Neth Pheaktra, center, with a collection of illegal snares and traps. Photo by MoE

MONDULKIRI – The Ministry of Environment and its development partners have extended the Zero-Snaring Campaign to Mondulkiri, making it the fourth province to take part in the campaign.

Speaking at the campaign launch on July 29, ministry Secretary of State Neth Pheaktra raised concern over the significant decrease of global wildlife and the illegal activities that threaten Cambodia’s wildlife.

“The global wildlife population has fallen sharply by an average of 68 percent over the last 50 years,” he said.

“Illegal hunting with snares in the natural forests coupled with the illegal wildlife trade has posed threats to Cambodia’s wildlife giving it no chance of survival,” Pheaktra said.

He said it was time for everyone to come together to prevent, conserve, and increase the population of some species. But effective law enforcement and economic development must go hand in hand for a possible eradication of the snaring crisis in protected areas.

Seng Teak, World Wide Fund for Nature-Cambodia (WWF) country director, said concerted action and strict law enforcement were needed urgently to stop the demand for bushmeat and to shut down all forms of wildlife market.

“To tackle illegal hunting and trafficking is to ensure that people living in and outside of protected areas are closely engaged in wildlife conservation, nature-based solutions and sustainable economic development,” Teak said.

The campaign was joined by major international and wildlife conservation organizations, including USAID, the WWF, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Birdlife, the Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific, and Wild Earth Allies.

The Zero-Snaring Campaign aims to eliminate all types of snaring through raising awareness, engaging a wide range of stakeholders, and highlighting multiple approaches to meet the country’s biodiversity goals.

The nine-month long multi-pronged national campaign began on March 3 and covers Stung Treng, Preah Vihear and Kratie provinces. Kampong Thom and Ratanakiri provinces are to be included in October.

In just five protected areas – Cardamom National Park and Kulen Prum Tep, Keo Seima, Srepok and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuaries – 234,291 snares were removed between 2010 and 2019, according to the Ministry of Environment.

In 2021 alone, 61,611 snares were removed from 72 of Cambodia’s protected areas and biodiversity corridors which is an increase on the 10-year average of 40,000 per year.

This represents just a fraction of the estimated snares used in Cambodia’s forests and continues to be a significant threat to wildlife, particularly endangered species, the ministry said.

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