Animals
 Cambodia
Project #7510

Raise Awareness to Protect Wildlife in Cambodia

by Wildlife Alliance
Vetted
Using interactive games to get kids interested!
Using interactive games to get kids interested!

Last month, we celebrated Environmental Education Week from April 19-25. Every year, in conjunction with Earth Day, Environmental Education Week aims to inspire environmental learning and stewardship in younger audiences. Environmental education is often most lacking in underserved communities where there is already poor educational infrastructure. This is especially true in a poverty stricken nation like Cambodia where only 40% of children enroll in secondary school and a lack of resources and funding has resulted in a shortage of teaching material and training. Wildlife Alliance’s Mobile Environmental Education Unit, the Kouprey Express (KE) strives to fill that gap. This mobile team travels around Cambodia providing engaging, interactive environmental education and material to students, teachers and communities.

So far this year, 60 teachers and community members received teacher training lessons, 613 students learned about conservation, wildlife protection and deforestation through classroom lessons, 428 students, community members, and teachers went on a field trip to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) to meet rescued animals, and 6,120 individuals attended outreach events and Community Night Shows where they received KE’s conservation message. Since 2004, the Kouprey Express has provided environmental and wildlife education to over 46,000 children and teachers and over 110,000 community members. This dedicated team not only works to inspire forest and wildlife protection, but also teaches communities about hygiene, waste management, pollution and other detrimental issues facing developing nations.

Thank you for your support, and for helping the Kouprey Express educate and inspire wildlife conservation in Cambodia!

Kids excited to see the rescued animals at PTWRC
Kids excited to see the rescued animals at PTWRC
Thank you!
Thank you!
Ambassador, the Youth Council & Wildlife Alliance
Ambassador, the Youth Council & Wildlife Alliance

On January 31, 2015, following nine months of partnership and preparation, the  Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education Unit (KE) and Ambassador’s Youth Council (AYC) (a small group of young people that advises US Ambassador to Cambodia, William E. Todd, on issues concerning youth in Cambodia) completed the Wild for Life event in Phnom Penh. Held at the popular Night Market, it was the venue’s first ever educational concert, raising awareness on environmental preservation, wildlife trafficking, and the Wildlife Alliance wildlife crimes hotline. The event opened with a speech by US Ambassador Todd who spoke about the environmental issues plaguing Cambodia. Following the Ambassador’s speech were several acts by high profile performers including Laura Mom and Jimmy Kiss, comedian Sokea, shadow puppet performances from Sovanna Phum Arts Association, and more, all recruited by the KE and AYC. Additionally, KE did a presentation on wildlife species in Cambodia, the threats posed to them, and things people can do to help, including reporting crimes against wildlife to our 24-hour nationwide wildlife rescue hotline.

The event was incredibly well received and when asked what they thought, audience members said they loved the show and hoped that events like this would be held more often! There was also significant press coverage surrounding the concert which helped us promote the wildlife rescue hotline number on the radio, on TV, in print and on social media.

We would like to thank the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia for funding the event, as well as congratulate the AYC and Kouprey Express for doing such an excellent job promoting and hosting the Wild for Life concert! This is just the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two groups, and we look forward to other exciting collaborations in the future.

In addition to this large event, in January and February, 40 teachers and community members received training, 422 students learned about conservation, wildlife protection and deforestation through classroom lessons and 160 students, community members, and teachers went on a field trip to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC). 3 educational signs were mounted at schools that displayed environmental protection messages, wildlife conservation tips, and the Wildlife Alliance hotline.

Performances by popular artists to raise awareness
Performances by popular artists to raise awareness
Engaging Cambodian youth in wildlfie conservation
Engaging Cambodian youth in wildlfie conservation

Links:

In just 3 months, KE reached 1,376 students
In just 3 months, KE reached 1,376 students

It has been a tremendously successful year for the Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Project (KE) team, and the last three months have been exceptionally busy. The new school year for students in Cambodia started in November and since then, KE has been bustling from town to town, providing conservation lessons to 1,376 students and 309 community members, as well as training to 80 teachers in the area.

In October, for the first time ever, KE travelled to the islands off of Sihanoukville to give wildlife and marine life education lessons at the invitation of Save Cambodian Marine Life, a local NGO.  This was also the first time KE has included marine education in its curriculum. The team instructed 40 students and 22 community members from Friends of Koh Rong, 42 students and 25 community members at Rong Salem Community Pre-Primary School and 69 students and 12 community members through the Song Saa Foundation. All the participants were engaged in the education sessions, especially the students and community members at Friends of Koh Rong, who had never experienced these types of lessons or activities before!

In November, KE was invited by the Peace Corps in Svay Rieng province to provide wildlife and forest conservation lessons to 270 high school students from grades 10-12 at Romeas Hek high school. These students were particularly interested and asked many questions about endangered wildlife and deforestation. Because of their interest, the team pushed the students and made the lessons and activities a bit harder than usual. After the academic component, the team wrapped up the class with artwork and a few games. This session went really well, and the team got great feedback from the Peace Corps on these lessons.

In December, KE provided a teacher training session to 20 teachers from Stoeng Samraong and Prey Praseth Primary School in Sihanoukville. The training was focused on Weather, Water and Sanitation, Waste and Sanitation, Energy, Biodiversity and Sustainable Livelihoods. The team trained the teachers on the environmental concepts, how to deliver this knowledge to students, and various interactive games that better engage students. These training sessions are extremely important in providing new material and knowledge to teachers in remote areas that lack access to these kinds of opportunities.

Other activities performed during this period include installing anti-wildlife trafficking signs with students, planting trees near schools, and conducting wildlife and forest protection themed Night Shows to remote communities.

We would like to thank everyone who has so generously contributed towards Empowering Students and Communities to Become Environmental Stewards. Your support is greatly appreciated and allows us to continue to bring about lasting environmental change in Cambodia.

Interative lessons with take-home material
Interative lessons with take-home material
Provided material and training to 80 teachers
Provided material and training to 80 teachers
Putting up anti-wildlife trafficking signs
Putting up anti-wildlife trafficking signs
Learning about different endangered animals
Learning about different endangered animals

For many of us, fall is in full swing and students are back in school, but in Cambodia students are enjoying their summer break still. The Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education Unit (KE) finished up the academic year by providing forest, habitat and wildlife conservation lessons to 588 students last month. This was the first time they worked in schools in Phnom Penh as part of their expanded Memorandum of Understanding with the government. They also introduced their new wildlife and forest conservation lessons to these classrooms. These updated lessons focus on animal classification and biology; the importance of wildlife and forest conservation; threats facing wildlife; the impacts of extinction, climate change, waste; and how this all fits into the ‘bigger picture.’

The last school visit of the academic year was to Chak Tomouk elementary school in Phnom Penh, where the team worked with 213 kids. These lessons always extend beyond just the classroom in which they are working – the activities and games drew interest from other students, teachers, and even construction workers on the campus! They all stopped to watch what the students were doing and listened to the message and rescue hotline number being promoted.

Over the next couple of months, KE has been invited by several NGOs in the area to deliver their environmental lessons. The team has also been asked by the Cambodian Organization for Living and Training (COLT) to conduct teacher trainings for university students, community educators and teachers from several NGOs. This will be an incredible opportunity to spread environmental awareness while fostering the growing professional field of conservation in Cambodia. So while school may not be in session in Cambodia, the next couple of months are shaping up to be busy months for the team! Help them continue to bring about lasting environmental change in Cambodia by making a gift today, or make your gift go even further this Bonus Day on October 15!

Getting ready to enjoy their summer break
Getting ready to enjoy their summer break
Team Leader, Sang Vanda with owner and palm civet
Team Leader, Sang Vanda with owner and palm civet

On June 16, the Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education Unit (KE) was headed to Mondulkiri at the invitation of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to conduct wildlife lessons. While on their way, the team stopped for lunch where they spotted an Asian palm civet being kept in a small cage. The team approached the owner of the restaurant about the civet, and he admitted to keeping it as a pet. Concerned about the safety of the animal, they explained to the owner who they were and what they do. They then encouraged him to give the civet to the team, who would then give it to the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) to be taken to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center for care. The owner at first refused, but the team was persistent and explained to him that it was illegal to keep the animal and it was also likely the civet would die in its current conditions. This persuaded the owner and he was happy to hand over the animal. The team thanked him for doing the right thing and gave him two t-shirts, five animal posters, and a hotline sticker to encourage him to report wildlife crimes, and reward him for donating the civet to the team. Furthermore, he promised to educate other villagers in the area about wildlife protection!

While rescuing animals is out of Kouprey’s project scope, the team felt it was an urgent matter that could not wait for the WRRT to come back a few days later, in case the civet was not actually a pet and was there for sale or trade. This incident also demonstrates the importance of the Kouprey Express’s role in educating citizens about wildlife, and the existing need for increased awareness in rural communities about wildlife related laws. Help the Kouprey Express make a difference through education and awareness by making a gift today!

Rescued Palm Civet
Rescued Palm Civet
KE staff giving educational material to share!
KE staff giving educational material to share!

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Wildlife Alliance

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.wildlifealliance.org
Project Leader:
Sheena Thiruselvan
New York, NY United States

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