Grassroots Activists Work to Save Remaining Cardamom Mountains Rainforest

The burden of safeguarding the region’s rich resources falls on local environmental groups and a small number of park rangers.

Peng Sovannarin, the law enforcement coordinator at the international NGO Conservation International, has spent decades patrolling the rainforests of the Cardamom Mountains in southwestern Cambodia. Previously working as a park ranger, he now provides technical support to the government ranger team charged with defending the huge area of protected forest in the Central Cardamom Mountains National Park.

Despite decades of work in the forest, Sovannarin admits that illegal poaching and logging operations are still common throughout the protected areas, despite the longstanding efforts of the local community, NGOs, and certain government bodies to prevent such activities.

Last month, park rangers confiscated over 600 snares in one outpost area of the Central Cardamom Mountains alone.

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