Kratie Province–World Wildlife Fund Cambodia yesterday urged Kratie provincial authorities to take firm action against fishing, forestry, and forest land encroachment crimes in order to protect and preserve rare species of wild animals that are currently under threat.
Horm Chandet, a landscape manager for WWF’s Mekong flooded forest landscape division, said during a meeting with provincial officials that some areas along the Mekong River at Kratie and Stung Treng provinces are designated as protected areas for biodiversity conservation.
He said these areas are rich in biodiversity.
Mr Chandet said endangered wild animals are encountering serious threats due to illegal fishing, deforestation and land encroachments and they require close attention and legal action from relevant authorities to ensure their preservation.
“Illegal fishing using electric gear and nets, illegal logging and land encroachment is causing a decline in these species’ populations,” he said. “The technical working group comprising WWF Cambodia and fisheries administration officials are seriously concerned about this and requires participation from all stakeholders in order to protect these valuable natural resources and ensure effective law enforcement.”
Tuy Bunserey Mony, a Kratie deputy provincial governor, said at the meeting that provincial authorities have always paid attention and made efforts to preserve these critically endangered animals.
“We will continue to find solutions to address these issues and strengthen legal measures to prevent these crimes more effectively,” Mr Bunserey Mony said.
Chhay Duong Savuth, Kratie provincial environment department director, said at the meeting that perpetrators are still committing crimes which are threatening the critically-endangered animals.
“We will organise regular patrols, disseminate information to villagers to raise awareness on how to protect and conserve natural resources, prevent and crack down on such crimes as well as effectively prevent forestland encroachment,” he said.
According to a WWF Cambodia official, there are about 92 Irrawaddy dolphins and 42 kinds of reptiles in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.