Khna grew up in Pen Meas, a rural village of rice farmers in Somroung Commune, Tramkork District, Takeo Province. “He was the first memberS of his family to go to university, and graduated from the Royal University of Agriculture a bachelor’s degree in Forestry Science in 2016.
He then went to Israel on a scholarship for 10 months to study GIS (Geographic Information System). Khna joined WCS in 2017, as part of the GIS and SMART (Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool) team at WCS.
He loved being part of this dynamic, young team exploring new ways of using spatial data for conservation. Part of his work involved improving the quality of monitoring data gathered by field teams, which he accompanied to the forest. Despite only being with WCS for less than a year, he was a popular member of the team and will never be forgotten. He is survived by his wife and one daughter of two and a half months.”
llegal logging and timber smuggling is commonplace between Cambodia and Vietnam. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a UK-based NGO, around 300,000 cubic meters of logs were smuggled from Cambodia to Vietnam between November 2016 and May 2017.
Most of Mondulkiri province is officially protected, but satellite data from the University of Maryland show areas of heavy tree cover loss along its border with Vietnam. Officials on both sides of the border are often complicit, according to watchdog groups like EIA, and reap huge financial rewards for enabling timber trafficking.
Photo courtesy of WCS Cambodia