Rida Kheng, Cambodia’s First Female Ranger

Rida loved nature and was fascinated by everything about it, from the plants and seeds to the animals and entire ecosystems, as well as how everything had an impact on the world as a whole.

As a young girl growing up in a village, she witnessed the loss of the nearby forests, which saddened her.


As she grew older, she made the decision to continue her studies in forestry science at the Prek Leap National College of Agriculture (PNCA) in Phnom Penh.

She was able to see the big picture and the reasons why the forests are so important to us as a result of this. She became more passionate about forests as a result of her studies and decided that she would help save them and restore them to their original state because she could no longer watch them vanish.

Rida’s father works in Mondulkiri’s Department of Environment, and her mother is a hardworking woman with a simple job. Both her parents always encourage her to do what makes her happy. She had the option of working in an office or out in the field, but she had never wanted to work in an office. 

Rida Kheng, Cambodia’s First Female Ranger

The statements “I love the forest” and “I love wildlife” often come up in conversation while I am out in the field with my fellow rangers. This keeps me motivated and focused in the job, Rida says.

She believes she can make a difference.

Gathering the villagers, especially those who live close to forests, she would explain the importance of planting trees and how doing so would help fight climate change, which in turn influences the weather.

This, in her opinion, is the most significant environmental concern in the community she comes from.

Rida claims that pollution is also a problem in addition to deforestation.

She says, “In general, I’ve witnessed a lot of people throw their plastic waste into rivers without even opening their eyes to realize what they’re doing. These people, in my opinion, just have time for themselves and are unaware of the devastation they are doing to the environment. When I try to inform them and they merely respond angrily, it makes me feel terrible and helpless.”

“I’m not saying it’s easy; in fact, there are moments when I believe the work, I do is really difficult. However, I do not mind the challenges because I am so passionate about what I do.”

Forest preservation is Rida’s dream. She is currently busy following her dream; it feels amazing to be doing what she considers to be “her favorite profession.”

Source: WWF -Together Possible

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