The KE team with IUCN members and Thai officials
On August 20th, a transboundary reforestation event hosted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) took place in Banteay Chhmar Province in Cambodia. To inaugurate this historic project, local Thai and Cambodian officials and community members gathered to plant over 2,000 saplings of native trees to improve watershed function of this critical ecosystem. At the invitation of Freeland Foundation, Wildlife Alliance’s Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education and Community Outreach Project was invited to attend this important transboundary event.
The governor of Banteay Meanchey asked the Kouprey Express team to conduct an interactive Q&A session with the approximately 514 audience members. The team engaged the audience with games and lessons that demonstrated the importance of environmental protection in a fun and non-threatening manner – which was especially important as logging by Cambodians in Thailand is a sensitive issue. The team also brought their attention-grabbing costumes to add some excitement to the event. The team’s environmental message was well received by the audience, and highlighted in IUCN Thailand’s recent newsletter. Kouprey Express’s project coordinator, Ying Horn was quoted as saying, “The rangers physically cannot cover such a large area. Therefore, community protection of the forests is vital. It is far more likely for a villager to be able to spot an instance of wildlife poaching and all they would have to do is call a hotline, following which rangers will be able to close in on the location and arrest the perpetrators.”
We are honored to be included in this event, and excited by the positive response of the community and local officials. The Governor even asked the team to return to do more activities as he greatly supports the Kouprey Express’s environmental outreach efforts.
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Using fun costumes to engage the audience