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.
Jun 23, 2014

Bear Cubs Rescued From Bile Trade

The Young Bears Being Transported by the WRRT
The Young Bears Being Transported by the WRRT

On May 19th, Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) and Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program received a tip from an informant about two bears being held captive in a village in Kampong Speu Province. The teams responded immediately and surrounded the suspected trader’s house. The offenders became increasingly aggressive and refused to allow staff to search the residence. To prevent the traders from escaping, the team waited outside while a warrant to search the premises was obtained. The search resulted in the rescue of two young Asiatic black bears.

Further investigation revealed that the offender’s husband was a convicted wildlife trader and that there is a warrant out for his arrest. The team also discovered a Vietnamese registered motorcycle on the premises, and it is likely these two bear cubs would have been sold to bile farms in Vietnam. Bears are often kept in alive in these farms where their gall bladder and bile is harvested and sold as traditional medicine. The female offender was charged under Article 98 of the Forestry Law for Possessing Endangered Wildlife and is currently in pre-trial detention.

While the team has made remarkable advances in tearing down the wildlife trade network in Cambodia, the deterrents are not enough to put an end to wildlife crime. Over the past few years, wildlife trade in the region has become increasingly sophisticated and animals are now being transported from Thailand into Cambodia and then onto Vietnam. In response to this crisis, the WRRT is focusing its efforts on transnational smuggling, and last week’s successful rescue is another example of the WRRT working aggressively to dismantle the illegal wildlife trade in the entire region.

Help us continue to stop bear trafficking in Cambodia by making a gift and sharing our project!

Two Asiatic Black Bear Cubs Were Rescued
Two Asiatic Black Bear Cubs Were Rescued
Offender in Jail
Offender in Jail
Jun 3, 2014

A New Chapter for CADP

Female community leaders at the community orchard
Female community leaders at the community orchard

In 2004, Wildlife Alliance worked with 187 landless families to help them escape poverty and generate a sustainable and dependable income. The Community Agriculture Development Project (CADP) was implemented in Sovanna Baitong for forest dwellers previously engaged in destructive slash-and-burn farming practices and wildlife poaching. Today, each family lives and works on their own 1.5 hectares of agricultural land, growing cash and subsistence crops using modern agricultural methods, like efficient drip irrigation, to generate income year round. However, in order for any community project to achieve autonomy, it is vital for it to be economically self-sufficient, politically supported by regional and national governments, and locally driven and managed. This year, the Community Agriculture Development Project at Sovanna Baitong moves closer to achieving all of these goals.

One of the first steps taken to achieve financial sustainability was the creation of the Community Orchard, which will increase income for community members through the cultivation of high-yield cash crops. The development of the Community Orchard began at the end of last year, and if projections bear out, the orchard should be fully supporting the community within 3-5 years.

On March 18, the Ministry of Interior officially recognized the community of Sovanna Baitong as a township. A ceremony was held on May 9 with representatives from the local, provincial and district government in attendance. This kind of regional support for the community is necessary to ensure the long term success of the project.

And lastly, at the beginning of this year, the project was handed over to Khmer staff for management. The project was always designed to empower civil society and incorporate community members in decision-making processes. However, passing on leadership responsibilities to Cambodians will ensure that the project is internally motivated to stay active. In January, Ms. Pich Sokhany succeeded Gil-ad Chen as the project manager of both CADP and the Tropical Reforestation Project. Sokhany is both qualified and well suited for the position. She graduated from the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh with a degree in Accounting, and has worked as the assistant manager and accountant for the project since 2007. Having risen through the ranks as a female manager in a male-dominated field, she has accomplished a great deal and has proved to be a determined and effective leader. She cares passionately about Wildlife Alliance’s mission to alleviate poverty, and protect forests and wildlife, and is excited to help CADP transition into a self-reliant autonomous community.

Help the community of Sovanna Baitong achieve autonomy and sustainability by making a small donation today!

Opening ceremony held on May 9th
Opening ceremony held on May 9th
Suwanna Gauntlett with new project manager Sokhany
Suwanna Gauntlett with new project manager Sokhany
May 20, 2014

22 Logs of Luxury Timber Seized

22 Logs of Illegal Timber Confiscated
22 Logs of Illegal Timber Confiscated

 On April 10, 2014, an undercover operation conducted by Wildlife Alliance’s forest patrol unit led to the confiscation of 22 logs of luxury timber. For three days, the Assistant Supervisor of Sre Ambel Station posed as a timber trader to gain insider information on an upcoming shipment of illegal timber. While following an intermediary trader, he discovered the stash of illegal timber ready to be transported. He immediately called the Station Supervisor, and the patrol team arrived late at night, just as the drivers began to haul the timber away. The offenders did everything they could to prevent the patrol team from confiscating the illegal timber. To intimidate the officers, the traders opened fire at the patrol unit, and a shoot-out ensued in the darkness. However, the team persevered and was able to confiscate the two trucks containing the illegal wood and drove the evidence back to the station. The team pursued the traders but was unable to catch them as they were heavily armed and able to slip into the forest cover.

The Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program forest rangers work day and night, risking their lives to protect the forest. Last year alone, the rangers removed 13,474 snares, confiscated 8,369 cubic feet of illegal timber and rescued 448 animals. Right now, the team is in urgent need of a new vehicle in order to continue their operations. The truck, which would cost $30,000, would allow them to continue to patrol over the 1.7 million acres of forest in the Southern Cardamoms. Help these rangers continue to protect the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range and its wildlife!

Last year rangers confiscated 8,369 ft3 of timber
Last year rangers confiscated 8,369 ft3 of timber

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