Hor Samath, Mekong Conservation Hero

Hor Sam Ath, a Mekong Conservation Hero, shares his current efforts and what he has learned as a community conservation leader.

In 2010, I limited my involvement in natural resource protection in other provinces in order to devote more attention to the Sdey Krom Roharl Suong community fishery in Battambang Province. We work to recover diminishing and gradually depleting fishing resources.

Before I leave this world, I especially want to leave something in Raing Pen Bei Tor. I was appointed as Deputy Director of the Sdey Krom Roharl Suong Community Fishery Committee in 2012. My primary responsibility is to raise funds to transform the Raing Pen Bei Tor Conservation Area into a biodiversity conservation place for fishery resources as well as a community recreation area for students and anybody who enjoys nature.

Since I began volunteering for conservation work, I have experienced numerous hurdles and issues that I’ve had to overcome. At the same time, I’ve learned a lot from my conservation experiences and expertise.

For example, it is critical to address issues with key community members, arrange a site visit, and then develop an action plan. I also share information about issues and solutions with the public by bringing community members, villages, teachers, students, youth groups, monks, elders, journalists, and other key stakeholders to analyse the current situation in the conservation area and explore potential solutions. I also communicate with and share information to government authorities, civil society, and donors via chat apps such as Telegram.

As part of my job, I’ve increased patrol activities, built a patrol house, and assigned guards to patrol in protected areas on a regular basis. We also installed boundary poles to indicate the protected area, devised a technique to prevent fish from leaving the conservation area while spawning, and are re-planting flooded woods that had been cut down in protected regions. I enjoy working on community problems through education, outreach, and communication.

I feel it is critical to participate in social work and to promote civil rights, particularly for women and impoverished families in the community, as well as to participate in environmental protection and the restoration of lost natural resources, particularly fisheries resources.

Despite the unhappiness of those who are selfish and do not care about the negative impact on people and society, I recognise that environmental preservation and fishery resource conservation are the responsibility of every citizen and are also part of saving good merit.

I am motivated by the encouragement and support of family, relatives, organisations, groups of people who care about natural resources, and generous people. Before I leave this world, I’d like to leave some memories.

Before I leave this world, I’d like to leave some memories.

Source: Wonders of the Mekong

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