The Cambodian Red Cross has donated a car, two scooters and cash to activist Ben Devis and the Tabos community as an incentive for participating in the protection of the natural resources in Preah Vihear province’s Phnom Thnout-Phnom Pok Wildlife Sanctuary.
The handing over ceremony was held by CRC president Bun Rany and other government officials.
The vehicles were donated by Ms Rany and a fund of about $4,000 was donated by members of the National Assembly for Mr Devis and the Tabos community.
Lawmaker Chea Vandeth told Mr Devis and the Tabos communicate to continue to be active in the protection of the Kingdom’s natural resources.
“The participation of stakeholders are needed to ensure the management of natural resources and sustainable development,” Mr Vandeth said.
Environment Minister Say Samal said the Environment Ministry has recognised the efforts of Mr Devis and the Tabos community in joining with the government to protect and conserve natural resources in the Phnom Thnout- Phnom Pok Wildlife Sanctuary.
He noted that the government has been monitoring conditions of local communities living in protected areas.
“People please work together and agree to sustain natural resources because these natural resources are ours,” Mr Samal said.
Mr Devis expressed gratitude towards Ms Rany for providing the vehicles and the fund.
“Thank you Samdech Bun Rany, who helped by donating the car and motorbikes to our community,” he said. “We currently have old cars that would need to be repaired on a regular basis.”
“We currently have two cars, including a pickup [truck] that we have used for 22 years and a Range Rover from 1997, which we have always used to patrol in the forest – so it’s rusty,” Mr Devis added.
He noted that criminal activities in the area have decreased when compared to periods over the last two years.
However, he said, wildlife trapping has yet to decrease and is in need of attention.
Earlier this month, the Environment Ministry through the Social Environment Funds also provided $20,000 to Mr Devis and the Tabos community to develop eco-tourism at the Phnom Thnout- Phnom Pok Wildlife Sanctuary.