By Denise Hruby
A tiger and a small Slow Loris are being transported on a luggage conveyor belt as a child cries in the background—that’s the short video clip that will be shown at Phnom Penh International Airport for the next year.
Along with ads and an exhibition on wildlife trafficking, the video is meant to educate international travelers about the illegal trade in wildlife that has become one of the world’s biggest black markets, accumulating an estimated $10 to $20 billion annually.
Being the home of many endangered species, and coupled with often weak laws and law enforcement, Southeast Asia and its airports have become a major destination for the trafficking of wild animals, NGO Wildlife Alliance said at the opening of the exhibit at Phnom Penh International Airport on Friday.
“We all need to work together to protect Cambodia’s wildlife…and to make the airports a frontline of defense,” said Amy van Nice, international development manager with Wildlife Alliance.
Signs with information about wildlife trafficking have also been installed at major land border crossings such as Bavet and Poipet, Ms. van Nice said.
In past years, wildlife traders have taken a more systematic approach to evade punishment under the 2001 Forestry Law, which contains provisions for punishing trafficking of wildlife with up to 10 years in prison. More....