At the edge of the Chom Penh forest, part of the 242,500-hectare Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary on the northern plains of Cambodia, a group of mostly tribal elders - from the Koi indigenous minority - have tasked themselves with defending the forests that provide them with food and income.
This self-appointed forest patrol is a key line of defence when most indigenous people have been reduced to bystanders as their ancestral forests are felled.
The poaching and wildlife trade problem
Species affected Timber Species
Strengthening disincentives for illegal behaviour
The self-appointed rangers and a mission to stop Chom Penh from being pillaged, and they use a combination of education, scolding and threats.
When timber-poachers are encountered the community rangers deliver an "impassioned scolding": "Do you understand how important the forest is to your people ... Have you forgotten who you are?". The poachers are then escorted back to the villages where they are either handed to the police (for example, if they have tried to escape), or are 'punished' by getting 'a vocal beatdown' from a local elder they know, fear and respect.
Sometimes former poachers join the patrol team.
Organisers, donors and partners
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