Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife Alliance is the leader in direct protection to forests and wildlife in the Southeast Asian tropical belt. Our mission is to combat deforestation, extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments.
Mar 19, 2014

For the Animals Visits Wildlife Alliance

With Wildlife Alliance Staff
With Wildlife Alliance Staff

Last month, Rebecca Tilbrook, founder of the Australian charity, For the Animals, and former Wildlife Alliance employee, brought a group of For the Animals supporters to visit our programs in the field. For the Animals serves as our partner in Australia spreading awareness, promoting Wildlife Alliance’s work, and building our supporter base. This guest post by Rebecca shares their experience and illustrates the work Wildlife Alliance is doing to help Cambodian communities end hunger and poverty:

Eight of us from Australia went up to visit all of Wildlife Alliance’s field projects, so we can raise awareness and resources from our country. Everyone on the visit had participated in various fundraising activities for the Australian group, For the Animals, which supports Wildlife Alliance’s work.

I have been on the visit several times now and what strikes me most is how every visit is different, and I always see something important that I’ve never seen before. Everyone enjoyed visiting the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC), home to 1,200 animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. The elephants are my favorite and I feel a real connection with them, especially Lucky whom I’ve known since she was a couple of years old. I truly feel that she and the other animals at PTWRC are happy and have minimum stress. I often wonder if they realize that they’ve been ‘rescued’ from certain death.

As much as I love being with the animals, the project that touched me the most this time was the Community Agriculture Development Project at Sovanna Baitong, which is a poverty alleviation project involving 187 families. We heard from different villagers what the project had meant to them and their families in terms of having enough food, medical care and schools for the children. The people who spoke to us were different from the people we heard from in February 2013, when I last visited. So Wildlife Alliance and the community members are not simply putting the same three people up in front of the group to give the same story each time – the project has truly touched all the families in the community. As we walked through the village with the families, we crossed over the Bridge of Love. It was called this because each night the husband and wife that own the land sit on the bridge and look back at their farm and house and are filled with love. While the gentleman was telling us this story, his kids were running around and giggling and playing with the strange visitors who were pretending to chase them. There was just a sense of delight in the atmosphere. We also saw the children interacting with a young puppy and it was clear that they felt real compassion for the animal, unlike some places I’ve visited where the people come from extreme poverty.

As of 2013, the agriculture projects have been handed over to the Khmer staff. The projects are both running well and I believe there is a sense of ownership and accountability among the villagers to continue to make the projects succeed.

We would like to thank Rebecca for her support and for sharing her experience. We also welcome all our supporters to visit our projects, and see first-hand the work we are doing to alleviate poverty in the region!

"There was a sense of delight in the atmosphere"
"There was a sense of delight in the atmosphere"
Mar 19, 2014

Rangers Discover Over 12 Tons of Illegal Timber

Confiscated boat with Timber
Confiscated boat with Timber

Recently, the Tatai Ranger station received information about a boat heading towards the coast carrying illegal wood. According to the informant, the boat that was transporting the illegal wood was stuck in an estuary near Botum Sakor National Park due to low tide. Project Manager Eduard Lefter and the Tatai ranger team immediately headed towards the area by speedboat; as they headed south, they called the Trapeang Roung Station for backup.

An hour later, when the team finally found the boat, it was nearly empty. In fact, the informant had called them too early and the perpetrators had barely started loading the boat. As the rangers approached the area, the offenders ran away and took cover in the forest. The team found a large boat with four cubic meters (141 cubic feet) of wood, and two smaller boats ready to be loaded. There was also an astonishing 35-40 cubic meters (1,236 – 1,412 cubic feet) of timber hidden in the river, about 200-300 meters (656-986 feet) deep. After 3 hours of loading up the boats, the team transported the timber and boats back to the station, destroying what they had to leave behind.

Wildlife Alliance’s forest rangers risk their lives every day to patrol over 1.7 million acres of forest in the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range. Last year alone, the Forest Protection team conducted 7,099 patrols, confiscated over 237.7 cubic meters of illegal rosewood and timber and rescued 448 animals. Help them continue to make an impact by making a gift today!

Timber confiscations
Timber confiscations
Mar 13, 2014

World Wildlife Day

A Sun Bear Cub Rescued by the WRRT in September
A Sun Bear Cub Rescued by the WRRT in September

Last week we celebrated the first ever World Wildlife Day! Created by the United Nations to highlight the incredible animals with which we share our planet, this day also serves to remind us of the urgent need to protect them. In his message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked citizens and governments to commit to help end illegal wildlife trafficking, stating that, “the environmental, economic and social consequences of wildlife crime are profound. Of particular concern are the implications of illicit trafficking for peace and security in a number of countries where organized crime, insurgency and terrorism are often closely linked.” Our wildlife is under ever more pressing threat, and wildlife crime is putting many of the world's species in immediate danger of extinction.

Since 2001, Wildlife Alliance has been working to halt this criminal trade. We partnered with the Cambodian government to create a special wildlife crime investigation and counter-trafficking unit known as the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT). This team travels throughout Cambodia conducting undercover operations, investigating trafficking networks, intercepting wildlife shipments and rescuing animals. The WRRT has rescued over 56,000 animals and confiscated 30 tons of wildlife products since 2001. In 2013 alone, the team conducted 640 operations, apprehended 189 traders, imposed $16,000 in fines, and rescued 2,616 animals from the wildlife trade. While the team has made remarkable advances in tearing down the trafficking network in Cambodia, the deterrents are not enough to put an end to wildlife crime. Recently, wildlife is increasingly being transported from Thailand into Cambodia and then onto Vietnam. To address this new trend, the WRRT initiated meetings with border authorities, including Customs officials and local police at well known wildlife trafficking points. The purpose of the meetings has been to strengthen ties and encourage authorities to work closely with the WRRT regarding the transnational trading of wildlife and wildlife parts. Increased cooperation with border and airport officials has already led to several successful arrests, and we hope to continue to build on these relationships in the upcoming year. It has become clear the illegal trade is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the WRRT is utilizing all its resources to continue to work aggressively to end wildlife trafficking in Cambodia. We urge you to help us celebrate this inaugural event by supporting the rangers and law enforcement officials that devote their lives daily to protect our planet.

47 Snail-Eating Turtles Rescued from a Trader
47 Snail-Eating Turtles Rescued from a Trader
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