The Zero-Snaring campaign, initiated and led by the Ministry of Environment, with the cooperation and support from conservation organisations, was wrapped up with rallies in Kratie, Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom. The campaign ran from March to September, 2022.
The goal of the campaign is to end the trapping of wildlife and the illegal wildlife trade in Cambodia because it is a severe threat to Cambodia’s biodiversity.
Secretary of state for the Ministry of Environment Neth Pheaktra led a meeting with ministry and other officials, as well as representatives from conservation organisations, to wrap up the campaign and examine its achievements
He thanked the partner organizations for joining the ministry in organizing this important campaign to change people’s attitudes towards wildlife consumption and raise public awareness of the consequences that snaring causes to wildlife and communities.
The campaign’s results in the targeted provinces showed direct participation of more than 3,000 supporters with over 600 news articles published and broadcast by the press in Cambodia and international media that reached over three million people.
Pheaktra also detailed that 52 restaurants in the six provinces targeted by the campaign proclaimed their commitment to stop serving bushmeat on their restaurant menus. All of the restaurants have received certificates from the ministry in recognition of their commitment to and participation in combating the illegal wildlife trade.
“The zero-Snaring campaign very much benefitted environmental protection and natural resources conservation, especially contributing to the efforts at providing safe havens for wildlife, protecting forests and restoring wildlife,” he said.
During the meeting Pheaktra also further, encourage all stakeholders and partners to continue to adhere to the principle of collaborative partnership with the ministry and government under joint commitments in order to pursue further planning and implementation of the campaign by focusing on three key elements: Economic development for communities that participate in conservation work, educational outreach programs for those who still trap or consume wildlife and the development of more effective conservation plans that are backed up by scientific research and monitoring that will engage with the local communities inside and outside the protected areas.
“The Zero-snaring campaign will not stop here, but will continue to be implemented steadily and relentlessly as it will be extended to the Cardamom Mountains region covering the provinces of Kampong Speu, Koh Kong, Pursat and other areas in which wildlife sanctuaries are situated , some of which are known as wildlife poaching and trafficking hotspots as well,” according to Pheaktra.
It is expected that the campaign will lead to reviewing and amending relevant laws to upgrade the penalties for the possession of snares and dogs in the protected areas while also establishing a multi-agency law enforcement unit in charge of investigating criminal crimes at the provincial level.
Pheaktra indicated that the Kingdom should also officially adopt the preventive measures issued by the World Health Organization in April, 2021 that reduce public health risks associated with the sale of live wild animals for food and bushmeat consumption.