Cambodia, home to a number of large ivory busts in recent years, has rejected calls to destroy its stockpiles – the preferred method internationally for dealing with the seized contraband – with government officials saying they plan to exhibit it instead. Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday endorsed a Ministry of Environment recommendation to keep the ivory for “scientific research” and exhibitions. Environment Minister Say Samal on February 26 said there were recent requests from the NGO Wildlife Alliance, USAID and the US Embassy to burn the ivory, but he rejected them. “We don’t believe in burning [it], and as a sovereign country, we should make our own decision,” he said. “Why should it be burned?” Samal said the Kingdom believes in using the ivory for educational purposes, such as for scientific research and for display at museums.