The environment ministry on April 7 launched the second phase of a zero-snaring campaign in Pursat province, which is carried out in collaboration with many conservation partner organisations.

The target provinces for the second phase are Pursat, Kampong Speu, Koh Kong, Siem Reap, Battambang and Pailin, the ministry said in a statement, identifying main objectives of the campaign as combating the illegal wildlife trade, reducing associated public health risks, and enlisting the public in the fight to end bushmeat consumption.

The second phase is said to be scheduled from March 3 to July.

“This campaign reflects our strong commitment to removing all snares in Cambodia’s protected areas, stopping the illegal wildlife trade, and creating alternative jobs for the people to shore up development in local communities,” said ministry secretary of state Neth Pheaktra.

The ministry calls on authorities and relevant institutions to actively support the implementation and enforcement of wildlife-focused laws, encourages local communities to preserve wildlife for ecotourism development, and asks that everyone stop selling, buying or eating bushmeat, which could threaten Cambodia’s globally-important wildlife and biodiversity, he said.

Fewer snares means fewer dead wild animals, he underlined. “Removing the snares requires our commitment and participation. We must unite to protect Cambodia's wildlife, and protect natural biodiversity for sustainable development and long-term benefits.”

The aforementioned conservation partner organisations include the Wildlife Alliance, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), US Agency for International Development (USAID), Wild Earth Allies, Conservation International, and Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB).

Additional organisations include: the Maddox Jolie-Pitt (MJP) Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), NatureLife Cambodia, Fauna and Flora International (FFI), and the Regional Community Forestry Training Centre (RECOFTC).