Earlier this summer, and with much anticipation, we traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the Workshop on Sarus Crane Conservation in Cambodia and Vietnam. The workshop comes at a critical time for the conservation of Eastern Sarus Cranes, as population data collected during the past two decades show a sharp decline in crane populations in the last two years. As a result, bold actions are urgently needed to reverse this downward trend.
Forty participants from various conservation organizations and government offices of both Cambodia and Vietnam joined us at the two-day workshop, as well as international participants including International Crane Foundation SarusScape Program Director, K.S. Gopi Sundar, and Creative Design and Conservation Education Manager, Darcy Love. Triet lead the organization of the conference with the assistance of our Cambodia Office Manager, Phalen Leav, while Rich welcomed the workshop participants with opening remarks.
The workshop presentations by our colleagues with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Birdlife International, Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, and others included a wealth of information and experience, some of which were accumulated over more than two decades of work. Other presenters included the Zoological Park Organization Thailand, Charles Darwin University Australia, University of Science Vietnam, and Angkor Center for Conservation of Biodiversity. Following this first day of learning and sharing, we spent a day of strategic planning focused on current and future threats assessment and associated actions needed for the next decade.
During our time in Phnom Penh, we met with H.E Say Samal, Minister of Environment Cambodia. At the meeting the Minister expressed strong support for the International Crane Foundation’s work in Cambodia, solidifying our work with the Ministry of Environment. The workshop also witnessed strong collaboration among non-government organizations, such as the International Crane Foundation, and governmental agencies – in going forward, this spirit of cooperation is a prerequisite for a successful crane conservation program for Cambodia and Vietnam.
Story submitted by Dr. Tran Triet, Southeast Asia Program Coordinator, and Dr. Rich Beilfuss, President & CEO of the International Crane Foundation. Click here to learn more about our work in South/Southeast Asia.