The Environment Ministry needs more national park rangers to protect conservation areas that have grown to 7.5 million hectares around the country.
Environment Minister Say Samal said during the ministry’s annual meeting yesterday that the ministry has about 1,000 rangers and has requested more from the government.
“If we think based on international standards of the world, one hectare needs three or four officials to patrol, so we need more,” he said.
Ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap said that before 2016, the ministry had 960 national park rangers, a figure that grew to 1,260 after an earlier request for more officers.
“Conservation areas have increased, and we now have about 7.5 million hectares, so we still need more rangers,” Mr Sopheap said. “We will request the government to provide extra officials so we can meet our requirements.”
Mr Sopheap added that the rangers are needed to help the ministry continue its crackdown on forestry crimes.
“The large-scale crimes have decreased, but smaller abuses and some land grabbing still occurs and needs to be stopped,” he said.