On September 16, 2016, Wildlife Alliance rangers successfully carried out a major illegal logging bust and seized large amounts of timber. After a week-long struggle to obtain a search warrant from Kompong Speu provincial authorities, our rangers successfully located and confiscated 89 pieces (24 cubic meters) of timber, resulting from the destruction of about 75 illegally harvested trees. The illegally cut wood was found just 500 meters from a private sawmill. The confiscated timber was transported to the local Forestry Administration as evidence to apprehend the loggers.
The Cardamom Mountains continue to be a hotspot for illegal logging activities. Thus, deforestation continues at an unprecedented rate in the area. To combat this crisis, Wildlife Alliance provides direct on-the-ground protection through six ranger stations. On their daily patrols, the Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program stops forest clearings, timber cutting, and wildlife poaching. In 2015, our rangers confiscated 240 m3 of timber, removed 473 illegal logging campsites, and seized 450 chainsaws.
Keeping the Southern Cardamom rainforest intact is crucial because it is part of the Indo-Burma Peninsula in Southeast Asia, one of the most threatened rainforests in the world. With an original habitat encompassing 237,300,000 hectares, only 5% of the Indo-Burma forest remains today and Cambodia represents almost 20% of this remaining rainforest.
Saving one of the most threatened rainforests in the world remains a constant battle and if we stop fighting, we will lose the war. Help us continue to provide the best on-the-ground protection in the region by supporting the Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program.