The Ministry of Environment and relevant partners announced the launch of the zero-snaring campaign in Kampong Thom province, the fifth province to be added to the campaign, which aims to educate people to stop buying, selling and hunting wild animals.

Ministry secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the campaigns have been launched in various provinces for five months and have yielded positive results. The campaigns have educated the public, reduced the threats posed by traps in protected areas and made wild animals safer.

“We aim to reduce traps, which are prolific killers of wild animals. The traps are cheap but kill many rare animals, so people must join us and discontinue eating wild animals to eliminate trapping,” he said.

He continued that the participation of artists was an important part of the campaign, as the artists have many fans, so they can summon more support.

Kampong Thom provincial environment department director Tob Kakada said that the campaign was a historical project for the management of natural resources, especially the wild animals in the protected areas of the province.

He added that wild animals are under threat due to trapping and a lack of public awareness, despite forest rangers patrolling day and night. He vowed to prevent trapping more effectively.

“We are committed to doing our best to manage, protect and conserve natural resources, including wild animals in the six protected areas, in cooperation with local authorities and relevant partner organisations,” he said.

He said the department had prosecuted a total of 1,141 offences, with 79 cases involving 90 perpetrators being sent to court in 2021. The department had also removed 1,870snares, seized 60 home-made guns and released 25 wild animals (predominantly monitor lizards, pythons and loris). The year saw a 55 per cent increase in setting snares in the areas, compared to 2020. However, the first semester of 2022 saw a 75 per cent decrease in hunting and setting snares.

Cambodian singer Meas Soksophea expressed her excitement at being part of the campaign. She added that she intended to create various content relating to the zero-snare campaign and hoped inspire her fans as well as other artists to join the campaign for the sustainability of Cambodia's wild animals and natural resources.