Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers urged to stop using pesticides in sanctuaries

Villagers urged to stop using pesticides in sanctuaries

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Birdlife International says pesticides causes catastrophic damage to wildlife, biodiversity and the environment. BirdLife International

Villagers urged to stop using pesticides in sanctuaries

BirdLife International Cambodia has called on people living near wildlife sanctuaries to stop using pesticides to assist in the protection and conservation of wildlife, biodiversity and natural resources in the country.

The call comes after research patrols in some wildlife sanctuaries and protected landscapes in northeastern and southwestern Cambodia recently discovered a case of pesticides being used to illegally catch wildlife.

BirdLife programme manager Bou Vorsak said: “The use of pesticides in wildlife sanctuaries and protected landscapes causes catastrophic damage to wildlife, biodiversity, natural resources and the environment.

“We require all stakeholders, especially local communities, to immediately stop using agriculture pesticides in protected and conservation areas.”

Last week, Boeung Prek Lapouv protected landscape ranger teams collaborated with BirdLife’s conservation expert team to patrol the area and research rare and endangered species of wild birds.

They found eight dead spot-billed ducks near the edge of a water storage reservoir in Koh Andet district’s Krapum Chhouk village-commune in Takeo province.

The expert team said the offence was classified as “poisoning wild birds”.

The deputy director of the Beoung Prek Lapouv protected landscape, Lim Vath, told The Post that near the site where the eight spot-billed ducks died, rangers and BirdLife’s wild bird expert team found several rice seeds suspected of being mixed with pesticide.

Vath said the pesticide was put there intentionally to bait the birds because they drink from the nearby water source.

“We collected spot-billed duck carcasses and rice seeds suspected to be mixed with agriculture pesticides and sent them to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which is our partner in Phnom Penh for forensic examination.

“Hunting with poison is an activity that endangers wildlife and human health. One poisoning case can kill hundreds of birds including rare and endangered species. It also negatively impacts human health because people consume the poisoned birds,” he said.

Beoung Prek Lapouv protected landscape ranger teams have increased their patrols and started educating local communities about the risks of using pesticides.

BirdLife and Cambodia Vulture Working Group (CVWG) coordinator Ny Naiky told The Post on Tuesday that during the past week, her team has collaborated with officers from the Stung Treng Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to check all agriculture pesticides shops in Siem Pang district. They found eight shops selling pesticides without permission.

Naiky said one of the shops sold highly toxic and illegal drugs as well.

“After we found the banned pesticides, officials removed them and advised the merchants to stop bringing such pesticides into the Cambodian market,” Naiky said.

The owner of the store selling fertiliser and illegal pesticides, Nou Chanpov, told The Post that she bought the pesticide, named Molecule, from Thailand to be used privately in her cashew farm. She said she didn’t intend to sell them.

She said: “I bought over 20 sets of it from Thailand for more than $2,000. Each set contains six bottles with one litre per bottle. But I stopped importing it because the agriculture officials said it was a toxic pesticide and was banned,” she said.


  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio