Posts Tagged ‘Sam Veasna Center’

Cambodia’s Sam Veasna Center a finalist for 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

It has been announced that Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation (SVC) is one of just 13 finalists up for the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards at the World Travel Market in London in November 2016, putting Cambodia firmly on the global map for bird and wildlife ecotourism.

Gibbons in Cambodia

Gibbons in Cambodia

Hanuman has worked with SVC for more than a decade now, sending visitors to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, Ang Trapeang Thmor, Tmatboey and new wildlife sites such as Seima Protected Forest in Mondulkiri. Hanuman congratulates SVC on this nomination and looks forward to a continued close relationship in promoting the wildlife of Cambodia as a sustainable model to flora and fauna in the kingdom.

SVC is entered for the ‘Best Contribution to Wildlife Conservation’ award, highlighting the key role that ecotourism can have in preserving wildlife and habitats in Cambodia and around the world.
SVC has successfully made it through the most rigorous tourism Awards judging process and is now in contention to be globally awarded for its contribution to wildlife conservation. Innovation, inspiration and repeatable models were key criteria for this year’s finalists and SVC’s unique approach, working closely with WCS Cambodia, of conservation through community based ecotourism has been celebrated for the clear conservation success it has shown.

Cambodia is home to unique habitats and species that have all but vanished across Southeast Asia and has some of the world’s most threatened birds and wildlife, including critically endangered species such as Giant Ibis, 3 vulture species, numerous primates, Asian Elephants and the emblematic Eld’s Deer. Species that can only be seen with SVC. By taking birding and wildlife safaris throughout Cambodia and working closely with rural and indigenous communities in the most vulnerable habitats, SVC and conservation partner the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have been able to measure the stabilisation and growth of critically endangered species, and a reduction in deforestation. The SVC model for eco-tourism both directly incentivizes conservation in communities by paying a fee to the community when certain wildlife are seen, as well as training and employing community members as guides and ecotourism service providers.

SVC Director, Johnny Orn says: “Being recognised in this way puts Cambodia on the world map for its incredible birding and wildlife tourism – not something Cambodia is traditionally famous for. It also highlights the importance of ecotourism in Cambodia and the success for conservation achieved through responsible tourism. The more tourists who come to see our wildlife in a responsible way, the more of that wildlife that can be protected, and the more communities can directly benefit.”

Dr Ross Sinclair, WCS’s Country Director says: “Being a finalist in the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards is recognition of the quality and impact of SVC’s ecotourism products. By partnering with a conservation NGO like WCS to ensure there are conservation outcomes, and working with communities to ensure livelihood benefits, SVC are a world class example of responsible tourism.”

Sam Veasna Centre is a Cambodian wildlife conservation NGO sustaining Cambodia’s wildlife and communities through ecotourism, running wildlife viewing trips with exclusive access to Wildlife Conservation Society sites across Cambodia. The goal is to provide an alternative sustainable livelihood from ecotourism for the local communities at priority sites for conservation. In return for the income and employment received they are asked to sign no hunting and land use agreements, which are monitored by Ministries of Environment and Forestry patrol teams advised by WCS. SVC now works with 8 communities around the country.

The funds generated from ecotourism go back into community, conservation projects and ecotourism development creating a ‘local environmentally sustainable economy’. SVC’s unique collaborative approach has been held up by the Government of Cambodia as a model of successful community based ecotourism in protected areas which can be replicated across the country.

By investing in communities SVC has reduced, and in some cases, reversed species and habitat degradation by providing a sustainable livelihood option that reduces rural poverty, and SVC’s Environmental Education Training (EET) is teaching the next generation of Cambodians about the importance of conservation.

Cambodia’s bird-men

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

As we begin 2013, we wanted to highlight one of our favourite organisations, who we work very closely with in Siem Reap. The Sam Veasna Center are one of the very best wildlife conservation groups in the Indochina region, enabling visitors to enjoy endangered birds in their natural habitat as well as supporting and encouraging local communities to play a big part in tourism activities in their own back-yard.

Sam Veasna Center

Sam Veasna Center

Sam Veasna Center

Who and What: Sam Veasna Center organises responsible tours to remote habitats that benefit rural communities and promote wildlife conservation. Founded in 2003 to serve as a focal point for conservation initiatives in Northwestern Cambodia, Sam Veasna works with communities in remote areas to develop and promote their ecotourism enterprises.

The Experience: Visit one of Cambodia’s many protected areas and observe rare and endangered bird species. See large rare water birds at Prek Toal Biosphere on the Tonle Sap; see the imposing Sarus Crane at Ang Trapeang Thmor (ATT); or travel to remote Tmatboey to see the extremely rare Giant Ibis.

From Hanuman: Sam Veasna is one of the most impressive ecotourism non-governmental organisations operating in Cambodia. Their projects include most of the major birding hotspots in the kingdom, including popular and accessible Prek Toal and ATT, as well as much more remote birding sites in Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Mondulkiri, such as the famous ‘vulture restaurants’ of the northeast.

Find out more about the Sam Veasna Center at http://www.samveasna.org.

Wildlife viewing

Monday, December 26th, 2011

On the trail of Black-shanked Doucs

There’s good news for wildlife lovers in Cambodia. Two projects are just about to be launched in the north east provinces of the country which will provide visitors with a good chance of getting close to some of the country’s rapidly disappearing wild animals. With the forests of Cambodia vanishing faster than you can shake a stick, as plantations and commercial mining demand more and more space, its great news that there are still pockets of wildlife in numbers sufficient to entice conservation groups to set up these programs. In the Seima Protected Forest in Mondulkiri, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Sam Veasna Center are working with the villagers of Andong Kraleong to set up one, two and three-day treks that will take you amongst the world’s largest known population of Black-shanked Doucs (estimated to be around 40,000), while other monkeys such as macaques, yellow-cheeked crested gibbons and langurs, together with larger cattle like Banteng and Gaur, and night-viewing of loris and wild cats are also a possibility. And that’s not to mention the elephants and the abundant birdlife including giant hornbills. The project, using villagers as guides, aims to provide the local community with sustainable employment in tourism in return for not hunting the wildlife and for forest conservation. The treks around Andong Kraleong will take visitors through pristine forest and to a series of 20-meter high waterfalls. A second project, this time with Conservation International to the fore, is looking to benefit from the groups of yellow-cheeked gibbons and red-shanked Doucs that inhabit the fringes of the Virachey National Park in Ratanakiri near Voen Sai. They are working with locals to allow limited access to these closely-related cousins of the proboscis monkey a reality. Other animals such as macaques, sun bears and wild dogs are known to inhabit the same area. Contact Hanuman for more details.