Conservation International is a global non-profit organisation working to protect nature for the benefit of people everywhere. The loss of natural resources around the world, including species and the habitats they need to survive, can lead to instability and conflict. Conservation International works to ensure a healthy productive planet through protecting our natural wealth, fostering effective governance and working with business. We address illegal wildlife trade through partnerships, including United for Wildlife and the Clinton Global Initiative, by supporting intergovernmental conventions and frameworks to secure ecosystems, habitats and species, and through local initiatives.
One example of this work is in the forests of Cambodia, where we are helping to protect pangolins, or “scaly anteaters,” whose scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Pangolin meat, blood and foetuses are also considered delicacies, and as human populations have grown and accumulated greater wealth, the demand for the animals has increased. Today, a live pangolin in Cambodia can fetch more than US$ 100 – an often irresistible sum for poor hunters and farmers.
In 2006, Conservation International began working in Cambodia with local communities and forest rangers to increase awareness and understanding about the species and the laws in place to conserve them. As understanding has increased and trust has grown between the parties, pangolins have more frequently been confiscated from hunters.
In 2012, we helped open the Pangolin Rehabilitation Center outside Phnom Penh to provide care and treatment to pangolins rescued from the wildlife trade, including many that have been injured by rope snares, hunting dogs and cruel transportation methods.