Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng said Thursday that stricter border controls are needed to reduce wildlife trafficking.
“Inspecting wild plants and animals ought to be seriously done at the borders and the airports, which are believed to be the major export outlets,” Sar Kheng said at a closing of a regional conference on wildlife trade.
Representatives from 45 Asian countries met in Phnom Penh to discuss possible changes to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna.
Agriculture Minister Chhea Song said that the meeting focused on 11 animal and two plant species. Participants bemoaned the declines of whales, tortoises, elephants and ginseng, a plant used for medicinal purposes.
Chhea Song said countries in the region face a shortage of human resources to implement the convention. Illegal logging and unchecked wildlife poaching are threatening many animal and plant species in Cambodia.
The worldwide CITES conference is scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya in May.