World Wetlands Day 2004 -- Cambodia

13/02/2004

MEKONG WETLANDS BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE PROGRAMME
(MWBP)

REPORT ON WORLD WETLANDS DAY
2 FEBRUARY 2004
STOENG TRENG RAMSAR SITE, CAMBODIA


9 February 2004
Written by: Hak Vimean and Prom Nga

Organized by the Provincial Department of Environment with
Support from MWBP, IUCN, Wetlands International, CEPA, PLG, OCAA
Funded by the MWBP

World Wetlands Day Report
2-3 February 2004 Stoeng Treng, Cambodia

Introduction

The World Wetlands Day (WWD) was celebrated at Regional Teacher Training Center in Stoeng Treng town and Kandal village, Preah Rumkel commune, Thalaborivat district within the Ramsar site in the dates of 2 to 3 February 2004. It was organized by Department of Environment Stoeng Treng with various support from MWBP, IUCN, Wetlands International, CEPA, PLG and OCAA, and funded by the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme. It was conducted under high honor delegates of H.E Prach Sun, MoE under Secretary of State, H.E Pheng Kim, 2nd Deputy Provincial Governor of Stoeng Treng and Mr. Mao Kosal, IUCN/MWBP representative.

Purpose of the WWD is to raise awareness of local people, inter-governmental institutions and civil society on the values of wetlands biodiversity and functions and importance of conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in and around the Stoeng Treng Ramsar site. Participants from the provincial department of environment of Kampong Thom, provincial line departments of Stoeng Treng, NGOs representatives, police, military, teachers, students, commune councils, commune and border polices, border customs, and local villagers have attended the WWD celebration at the provincial and village level.

Amount of participants is as follows:
Celebration at the provincial town: 250 people, 102 women
Celebration at the village Ramsar site: 1,375 people
Presentations to students in town on Wetlands education and concepts of conservation and sustainable use: 260 persons, 124 females.

The WWD has gone though the agendas:

On 2 February 2004 at the Regional Training Teacher School in Stoeng Treng
Objective: raising of awareness among multi- governmental and non-governmental institutions.
8:00-8:30am Guests and delegation arrivals
8:30-8:40 Welcoming by Master of Ceremony
8:40-8:45 National anthem for opening
8:45-8:50 Blessing of monks
8:50-9:10 Speech of the IUCN/MWBP Representative (Mr. Mao Kosal)
9:10-9:25 Speech of the Deputy Provincial Governor (H.E Pheng Kim)
9:25-9:40 Speech of the MoE under Secretary of State (H.E Prach Sun)
9:40-9:50 Introduction to Smart Games
9:50-11:00 Conduct Smart Games (with teachers, students, police and military)
11:00-11:15 Gifts handing over to the 14 winners

On the same day at the Ramsar Site
Objective: raising of awareness among local villagers
2:00-6:00pm Trip to Ramsar site (to see flooded forests, dolphins habitat) and Preah Rumkel commune
6:00-7:00 Dinner at Preah Rumkel commune (Wetlands Video screened)
7:00-7:30 Villagers and delegation arrivals (Wetlands Video screened)
7:30-7:45 Preah Rumkel Commune Chief Speech (Mr. Kham Leam)
7:45-8:05 IUCN/MWBP Representative Speech (Mr. Mao Kosal)
8:05-8:20 Deputy Provincial Governor Speech (H.E Pheng Kim)
8:20-8:40 MoE under Secretary of State Speech (H.E Prach Sun)
8:40-10:50 Stage Show competitions - 4 groups (Demonstrating wetlands issues or wise use)
10:50-11:00pm Gifts handing over to the 4 Stage Show groups

On 3 February 2004
Morning: Travel back from village to the Stoeng Treng town

Afternoon: at the Regional Training Teacher School in Stoeng Treng
Objective: raising of awareness among Students at Stoeng Treng town
2:15-2:30 Opening speech by Deputy Director of DoE (Mr. Hak Vimean)
2:30-:3:30 Presentation on wetlands definitions and benefits by Mr. Mam Kosal, Wetlands International
3:30-3:40 Questions and answers
3:40-4:10 Presentation on community fishery management process and achievements as well as challenges by Mr. Suos Sivutha, CEPA
4:10-4:20 Questions and answers
4:20-4:40 Presentation on an overview of the MWBP for Stoeng Treng and how its contribution to wetlands conservation and sustainable use by Mr. Prom Nga
4:40-4:50 Questions and answers
4:50-5:00 Thanks and closing by Deputy Director-DoE

Results of the WWD

The World Wetlands Day (WWD) programme has been conducted smoothly within 2 days (on 2-3 Feb 04), except the Press Conference that no one from Press attended. This is the first WWD for Cambodia that successfully celebrated in Stoeng Treng by the provincial department of environment with a broad range of supports from NGOs, provincial, district and local authorities.

During celebration of the WWD at provincial town and Ramsar site, H.E Prach Sun, MoE under Secretary of State, H.E Pheng Kim, Deputy Provincial Governor and Mr. Mao Kosal, IUCN/MWBP representative have officially delivered speeches. Each speech has mentioned on significance of Wetlands, history of Ramsar convention on Wetlands signed in 1971 Ramsar city of Iran as well as some information of three Ramsar sites in Cambodia, and also stressed strongly on roles of all people, institutions and civil societies in participation of conservation and wise use of Wetlands.

A number of materials have been posted and distributed during the WWD celebration at provincial town and Preah Rumkel commune Ramsar site such as:

  • 339 Books (Dolphins, Giant Catfish, Wetlands Benefits, Turtles, Wetlands Inventory Guides)
  • 18 Wetlands banners
  • 12 Wetlands education kits
  • 300 Leaflets (Wetlands definitions)
  • 1200 Posters (with 4 kinds of posters, Cambodia Protected Areas Maps, Livelihoods and Forests, Rights over Use of Accessible and Inaccessible Natural Resources, all supported by CEPA)
  • 5 Posters (Freshwater Fishes in Cambodia, Fishery Protection and Community Management, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from Mountains to the Sea, Aquatic Resource Conservation, and Participation in Natural Resource Conservation and Protection)
  • 10 Sheets Ramar stickers.
  • 230 T-shirts bearing Wetlands.
  • 2 Video stories (Mekong the mother from MRC and natural resource of Prek Toel in Tonlesap lake from WI/MoE, all in Khmer projected at village)

Four Stage Show groups performance of primary school students, Samaki, Koh Sneng, O'Svay and Preah Rumkel commune has done a great job. The winner went to O'Svay group. Each group has presented in education and awareness raising on conservation and protection of Wetlands by having used some tools such as story telling, poems, short action performance with entertainment. Celebration at Ramsar site and Stage Show performance finished at 11:00 pm at night and then commune authority itself has continued dancing among villagers and delegates till morning. Government and NGOs officials from Stoeng Treng town and MoE Phnom Penh went to and stayed at the village. Moreover, Deputy Provincial Governor also provided additional awards amount 50,000 Riels to each Stage Show group for their performance.

On the day back to Stoeng Treng, 3 February afternoon, three presentations on wetlands definitions and benefits, community fisheries management and overview of the MWBP have been conducted for students in town. 245 students in different grades have participated in the presentation.

Conclusions:

The World Wetlands Day celebrated has been highly appreciated by all government institutions, armed forces and civil societies in term of arrangement and importance of the WWD particularly at Stoeng Treng. Participants attended easily captured and understood through Wetlands questionnaires answering games, Stage Show groups' performance and t-shirts, posters and other materials posted and distributed. Local villagers had chance to attend and see their children to perform at the Stage Show on education of wetlands resource conservation and sustainable use. Furthermore, all speeches given by delegates have strongly expressed on significance of Wetlands, Wetlands management, sustainable and wise use as well called for all people to participate in environment and natural resource protection particularly Wetlands resources.

Acknowledgements

From my personal gratitude and on behalf of IUCN and Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme (MWBP) I would like to deepest thank to:

Management of DoE Stoeng Treng and all staff who have done great jobs in whole responsibilities of the WWD implementation.
Mr. Mam Kosal (Wetlands International)
Mr. Chim Saren, PLG Stoeng Treng
Mr. Hou Chhun Eng, PLG Stoeng Treng
Mr. Vann Savuth, OCAA Stoeng Treng
Mr. Vorn Savuth, OCAA Stoeng Treng
Mr. Suos Sivutha, CEPA Stoeng Treng
Mr. Yen Run, CEPA Stoeng Treng

who have spent valuable time and provided materials and technical assistance during preparation and celebration of the WWD. And also Seila programme, department of education, provincial fishery office and again CEPA and OCAA who have provided motorboats for trips to Ramsar site as well as Mr. Zeb Hogan and Ms. Isabel Beasley who provided the excellent kids books on Giant Catfish and Dolphins. Finally great thanks to Alvin Lopez and Mao Kosal for all technical inputs and assistance.

With best wishes and regards,

Prom Nga
Project Co-Manager
GEF/UNDP Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme
Stoeng Treng Demonstration Project, Cambodia

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