FFI destroys illegal chainsaws in Cambodia

In a strong display of zero tolerance towards illegal activities in Cambodia’s wildlife reserves, FFI and the Cambodian Ministry of Environment held a joint decommissioning ceremony at Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary where they destroyed 263 chainsaws confiscated by park rangers and FFI field teams, used for illegal logging and timber trade.

Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Cardamom Mountains, in the south-west of the country. It contains Cambodia’s tallest peak and a dazzling array of wildlife.

The ceremony took place on 16 June 2009 at the Sanctuary’s Headquarters and was attended by senior level ministers as well as over a thousand local residents. As part of the ceremony, a selection of rangers received special awards for outstanding service within the Wildlife Sanctuaries.

FFI’s Country Director, Emily Woodfield said “These areas support more than 80 globally threatened species including some of the last known wild populations in the world of Siamese crocodile, Asian elephant and tigers. They are a significant watershed that provides water to very many people.”

She summed up the results of FFI’s and Ministry of Environment’s cooperation in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, by stating that since 2005, the work has confiscated over 584 cubic meters of luxury timber, more than 10,000 wildlife snares and numerous examples of poached wildlife. They have also seized 5.7 tonnes of sassafras oil (made from the rare Mreah Prow tree),which can be used to make the drug ecstasy.