Two Cambodian youths, Long Sapor and Man Fayanin, attended the International Tiger Youth Summit on July 28, 2023. The summit was organized by WWF-India and WWF-Tigers to highlight the importance of tiger conservation in the 13 tiger range countries, including Cambodia.
Sapor and Fayanin spoke about the need to engage youth in environmental education and help them build relationships with nature. They also called on governments and relevant stakeholders to recommit to tiger conservation.
Sapor said, “Without waiting any longer, we need to mobilize more participation from young people in Cambodia to support tiger conservation efforts by the government, WWF and other partners.”
Fayanin added, “I have heard stories that tigers once roamed the forests around us, and I have faith that with the right actions, Cambodia will one day see tigers in the wild again. My generation hopes to facilitate this effort.”
The last tiger in Cambodia was photographed in 2007. In 2016, wildlife scientists declared the big cat functionally extinct in the Kingdom. However, tiger conservation remains a long-term conservation goal in Cambodia.
Stuart Chapman, Leader of WWF Tigers Alive Initiative, said, “Decision makers in all countries need to hear the voice of youth to ensure that wild tiger conservation is a part of a conservation legacy for future generations.”