NatureLife Cambodia, a conservation NGO, has aided in the creation of a new storage facility near the environmental sub-office in Peam Bang commune’s Balot village of Kampong Thom province’s Stong district.

The building aims to address the need for additional space to house evidence pertaining to fishing offences, as highlighted by the NGO.

On September 6, the organisation reported that the new warehouse was constructed adjacent to the Balot sub-office by park rangers, in collaboration with volunteers from NatureLife Cambodia.

“The construction was funded by us,” the organisation stated. “It was built due to the previous lack of a suitable location for storing evidence collected during law enforcement activities carried out by park rangers,” it added.

The NGO said that it has been providing support to rangers in the Tonle Chhmar Ramsar area by conducting training that aims to give them the knowledge and skills they need for effective monthly patrols, law enforcement, and biodiversity monitoring in the region.

“We expect the warehouse will aid in preserving evidence and supporting the law enforcement efforts of the rangers,” it continued.

Peam Bang commune chief Ouch Sokha explained that the commune hosts three environmental offices.

These include the office of environmental conservation in Daun Steung village, the Balot sub-office in Balot village, and the sub-environmental headquarters in Pov Veay village.

Sokha explained that this new facility will streamline the handling of confiscated evidence from various crimes following patrols and seizures by enforcement officers.

He recalled that two years ago, when provincial authorities established the light command headquarters, confiscated evidence was stored at the command post in Peam Bang commune.

“In the past, there weren’t dedicated facilities. They often used the same space to store evidence from all sorts of crimes,” he said.

He said light command headquarters operates under the authority of provincial authorities, collaborating with armed forces to conduct regular patrols aimed at monitoring and combating various fishing crimes occurring in the commune.

Chey Chankong, the deputy director of the light command headquarters, noted that a substantial amount of evidence is stored there.

A comprehensive inventory was unavailable, but he explained that the accumulated evidence has been collected during patrols and crackdowns at various locations by environmental officers, anti-economic crime police forces, and even the military police.

In recent efforts to raise awareness and promote natural resource conservation in Kampong Thom, NatureLife Cambodia introduced the Eco-Club in Phat Sanday commune, Kampong Svay district.

The Eco Club comprises 85 members, all of whom are students from Phat Sanday Junior High School. Their role is to educate the public and raise awareness about nature conservation activities within their communities.