Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife Alliance is the leader in direct protection to forests and wildlife in the Southeast Asian tropical belt. Our mission is to combat deforestation, extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments.
Mar 11, 2014

Updates From the Field

Trek Guide and Cook
Trek Guide and Cook

In Chi Phat, Wildlife Alliance and the community members are working together to preserve the environment while providing exciting and unique experiences for visitors. Villagers who once roamed the forest to deplete it of its environmental heritage are now employed as guides leading trekking, mountain-biking, camping, and river boat tours through the wilderness surrounding both communities. By creating stakeholders out of local residents, the impetus to keep improving the project is strong and those villagers who have joined the CBET and participated in its activities have seen their incomes grow exponentially.

In June, the Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) project welcomed a new Project Manager, Martin Leighfield. Originally from the UK, Martin has lived and worked in Cambodia for over 16 years. He has extensive experience in the hospitality industry and has also developed a community-based tourism project on Koh Trong Island in Kratie province. He has a lot of great ideas for the project, and we are very excited to have him on the team. He has already begun implementing several new initiatives to expand the project, as well as improve the tourism experience. He has started to institute a new computerized booking system and is currently updating the CBET website. For the upcoming year, Martin has plans to improve the communication skills of the trek guides through classes, initiate a volunteer program, and create more child-friendly activities at the project.

This January, CBET signed an agreement with Andoung Teuk Transport Association to partner in transporting guests to and from Chi Phat by boat. This agreement was endorsed by the provincial Department of Transportation and both commune leaders. Previously, very few boats ran, and visitors had to hire a whole boat ($30), and it was hard to team up with others to share the cost. Arriving guests suffered confusion and harassment at Andoung Teuk, and were ill-disposed to CBET before arriving. Now, every day at 7:00am, at least one 4-passenger boat leaves Chi Phat, taking guests to catch buses at Andoung Teuk. The boat driver waits to bring guests back at about 1:00pm. The visitor center sells tickets ($10 one-way), and pays boat drivers $25 per round trip. CBET inaugurated the scheduled boat services to Andoung Teuk last month. Also, a new bar was also built in the visitor center. The bar will serve as an area where guests will receive pre-trek talks, to better inform visitors about the project and what to expect.

It is currently the peak season for tourism in Cambodia, and in January alone, CBET received 350 domestic visitors and 169 international visitors. The project earned a total income of $19,021.11, of which $13,635.08 went to villagers and $5,386.03 to the CBET community fund. New members were admitted to CBET, and there are now 250 members. These new successes and improvements would not have been possible without your support!

Stunning Views
Stunning Views
Mar 6, 2014

Fires at the Reforestation Project

Aerial View of Forest Destruction
Aerial View of Forest Destruction

At the end of December and continuing into January, there was a significant increase in the number of wildfires in the forest surrounding Chi Phat. Between December 21st and January 19th, 10 incidents of arson were discovered in vital forest area. It is believed their motive was to burn reforested fields in an attempt to claim title to the land, even though it is set within the boundaries of protected forest areas. This crisis was immediately addressed, and a number of Wildlife Alliance’s field programs took action to deal with the issue.

Immediately, we employed and assigned guards in all fields of the Tropical Reforestation project, and guard stations are being built in critical areas. Our Zoning and Demarcation team placed warning signs around the reforested fields. The Tropical Reforestation project then took preventative measures to protect the fields by plowing between rows and the entire perimeter to create a fire break. These fire prevention measures proved effective in halting the spread of a fire in Trapeang Roung. To involve local officials, staff from the Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program brought this issue to the attention of the Koh Kong Provincial Office, and a meeting with authorities has been scheduled. Finally, in order to increase awareness in the community, the Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education Unit conducted an emergency Community Night Show (CNS) in Chi Phat to address the rampant fires occurring in the area. This special CNS featured staff from the Community Agriculture Development Project (CADP), Community-Based Ecotourism project (CBET) and the Forestry Administration, and focused on why forest fires are so detrimental to the environment and to livelihoods in the community. With approximately 300 in attendance, this presentation by KE was well received by the community. A sign was also installed in front of the CBET office to serve as a reminder to the community about the urgent need to protect their forest and wildlife.

This recent situation illustrates the challenges Wildlife Alliance continues to face in the field despite the progress we have made in the area in the last decade, as well as the importance of Wildlife Alliance’s key attribute – a holistic, direct action approach to conservation – combining law enforcement, community outreach and government advocacy to mitigate a crisis as it is emerging. Our work would not be possible without you, help us continue to protect the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range!

Plowing Between Rows to Create Fire Breaks
Plowing Between Rows to Create Fire Breaks
Mar 6, 2014

US Ambassador to Cambodia Visits Wildlife Alliance, Meets Animals at PTWRC!

Ambassador and his Youth Council Meet Lucky
Ambassador and his Youth Council Meet Lucky

On February 14, 2014 the Ambassador to Cambodia, William E. Todd, visited Wildlife Alliance at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) with his Ambassador’s Youth Council. Environmental protection is an issue the Ambassador and his Youth Council care about deeply, and the visit was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the important efforts being made to protect Cambodia’s endangered animals. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC), which is set in approximately 6,000 acres of protected forest, is a government run wildlife rescue sanctuary. Wildlife Alliance works in partnership with the Forestry Administration and provides fundamental financial and technical expertise, which has developed the center into a first class establishment. For over a decade now, Wildlife Alliance has been a leader in wildlife conservation, rescuing over 56,000 animals from the illegal wildlife trade, rehabilitating over 20,000 wounded victims and reducing wildlife trade in Cambodia.

During their visit, the Ambassador and the Youth Council members met animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and learned more about the effects of wildlife trafficking. They were introduced to Chhouk, the young Asian elephant who had lost a foot to a poachers’ snare. Wildlife Alliance partnered with the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics to provide him with a prosthesis, which has changed his life completely. The Ambassador and the council members even had the opportunity to see a cast being made for Chhouk’s foot, which will be used to build a new prosthesis. Chhouk’s incredible story exemplifies the outstanding rehabilitation and care the animals at PTWRC receive. The Ambassador was extremely impressed with the work Wildlife Alliance does to protect Cambodia’s wildlife and forests, and looks forward to supporting the newly developed partnership with Wildlife Alliance and the Ambassador’s Youth Council.

Wildlife Alliance was recently selected by the US Embassy in Cambodia to run an environmental leadership program for members of the Ambassador’s Youth Council (AYC). This program aims to teach Cambodian youth leadership skills that will be transferrable to civil society, politics, and business, while instilling interest in environmental issues and forest management. Wildlife Alliance is running a program focused on environmental issues, dealing specifically with wildlife trafficking and forest preservation in Cambodia. This program is an incredible opportunity for Wildlife Alliance to expose these future leaders of Cambodia to the pressing environmental issues, as well as instill in them a desire to protect and preserve their country’s natural heritage.

Click on the link below to watch a video of the Ambassador's Visit. It is only with your support that Wildlife Alliance has been able to provide the animals at PTWRC with the care and attention they need thrive, and we are excited that our work at PTWRC continues to be recognized throughout Cambodia!

Examining Chhouk
Examining Chhouk's Prosthetic Foot
Chhouk Being Trained Using Positive Reinforcement
Chhouk Being Trained Using Positive Reinforcement

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