The Mekong Seagull Project

Publication Date: 26th July 2021
Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador

Picture 1: Fishermen preparing caught fish into bags and sacks for further processing into delicacies like Prahok.

A group of young environmentalists takes their initiatives deep into the Mekong river communities

Rivers have been central to human civilization for more than a millennium, either in providing source of food or water for agriculture. This is very obvious around the world, Asia included, where an important river also situates. The Mekong river has been central to one of the first communal living sites since the first trace of human establishment in the region. The Tonle Sap Lake is the biggest in Southeast Asia.

These waters continue to play an important role in providing fertile soil and abundant water for hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land and serve as habitat for tenth of thousands of fish, plants and micro-organism species.

However, with increasing human population encroaching into the natural habitat and ecosystem that sustain this important river, a group of young Cambodians is initiating a program to reconnect human and the rivers. A new project aims to disseminate knowledge on the wonders of great Mekong river basin is kicked off in the capital of Phnom Penh. The project is titled “Mekong Seagull Project”, a budding initiative inspired and led by members of the environmentally-conscious youth group called the Young Eco Ambassador: Mekong generation 1.

The project envisions to bring new light to the undiscovered stories of fishermen communities on both important water ways through the kingdom, namely the Mekong river and Tonle Sap lake.

Picture 2: Young Eco Ambassador team celebrating World’s Fishery day with some young children.

How do they do that? The project will feature field trips where any interested participants can sign up for bi-monthly prearranged wild tours into local communities of the Mekong and Tonle Sap lake, which are home of some of the most endangered and rare, gigantic fish species like the giant carb and the super-sized giant catfish. Participants can also expect to take part in exciting boat rides along the river, bird watching and scenic evening view, unseen in urban area.

A previous trip by the group led participants to “Dai Kilo No. 15”. People got a rare chance to visit boatmen whose livelihood rely heavily on fishery and understand how “Dai Fishing Work”.

Picture 4: Fishermen returning home after a whole day of fishing on the Mekong River.

Through these first-hand encounters, Chhoun Vannda Sambath, Mekong Seagull project leader believes the group will then be able to serve as agent to further disseminate information about the wonder of the Mekong and Tonle Sap to their friends and family. This in turn will significantly raise awareness of the benefits of preserving the two waterways deep into the distant urban communities around them.

Picture 4: Fishermen returning home after a whole day of fishing on the Mekong River.

With constantly rising population, Cambodia is one of the best place for such initiatives to bud. Young Eco Ambassador has consistently been able to draw in more and more young, innovative and ambitious leaders in the field of environment. Evidently, Mekong Seagull project leader is the living proof of YEA’s achievement.

“Don’t wait for others, you’re the starter if you want to make the change, make the change so the world will be a better place.” Said Sambath, being optimistic about the future of change brought about by youthful initiatives.

“Mekong Seagull project” is one among other projects by members of YEA: Mekong Generation 1 and currently the project is no longer operate. 

Watch video about Mekong Seagull project here 

“The Mekong Seagull Project”
Written Year: 2019
Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador

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