On World Tiger Day, the Wildlife Alliance Cambodia issued a clarion call to all relevant institutions, urging them to focus on tiger conservation.
The organisation highlighted the manifold benefits that reintroducing tigers to the Cardamom Mountains would bring to the ecosystem.
It noted that tigers, as apex predators, play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of nature. They keep prey populations under control, thereby preventing overgrazing and associated environmental issues. Tigers also help regenerate forests by dispersing seeds.
Apart from ecological advantages, the reintroduction of tigers is also culturally significant.
"The Khmer people have a deep connection to nature, and tigers are seen as a symbol of strength, power and balance," it said.
The international conservation organisation recalled Prime Minister Hun Sen's endorsement of plans to reintroduce tigers into Cambodia.
"The greater the number of tigers, the more pride we can have in our country," it said, referencing the outgoing premier's comments made in August 2017 at the 2nd National Forum on Protection and Conservation of Natural Resources.
World Tiger Day, celebrated on July 29, is an occasion for wildlife enthusiasts worldwide to raise awareness about the urgent need to protect tigers and their habitats.
Many tiger enthusiasts marked the day by posting pictures of tigers, emphasising their role as not just symbols of beauty and strength, but also as vital players in maintaining ecosystem balance. Their collective message was one of unity, urging everyone to join forces in supporting conservation efforts and combating poaching and tiger trade.
In a promising development for tiger conservation in Cambodia, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with India on November 12, 2022. Given India's status as a world leader in tiger conservation, this MoU represents an opportunity for Cambodia to learn from India's best practices, and potentially, to once again become a homeland for tigers.