Over the past few years the Islands where we are based have become more and more touristy, with increased tourism the islands have changed, its a great place to party and get crazy if that is what you are looking for, but with the changes comes increased levels of crime, increased levels of pollution and a loss of that real "I'm in Cambodia feeling"
MCC has now passed on the main body of conservation work with regards to the up coming Marine protected areas to international NGO's with large external funding, after 6 years of extensive surveys and conservation management we are looking to get back to basics, We will still be operating our seahorse research program from our original base on Koh Rong Samloem to make sure our seahorse data continues to be collected and used, but our main project base is now moving to a beautiful untouched Island in the province of Kep, with 13 islands, 3000 hectare of seagrass, fringing reefs and other areas of special interest, Kep's islands currently have no Marine conservation programs and with the area being home to many endangered species such as Dolphins, Dugongs, Seahorses and Turtles it is a perfect location to really make a difference where it is needed most, our original project on Koh Rong Samloem has given us the knowledge and experience to get to work straight away protecting another important part of Cambodia's Ocean.
Kep is an ideal place for MCC to continue its already growing number of successes and expand its reach to help another area of Cambodia that is in desperate need of protection and research. On request of the local provincial government MCC has been asked to begin extensive surveys of Kep's coral reefs and seagrass beds, along with providing restoration, artificial reefs and coral propagation programs. With 6 years of experience in exactly this field and the desire to be surrounded by nature and beauty, Kep is just a perfect location. Both locations will be working closely with each other and we will be comparing data from each project, Kep just gives us all the opportunity to escape the tourist hub whilst still doing what we do best, research and conservation.
Around our original project location on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem it is getting more and more difficult to tell a genuine conservation organisation from one set up to promote local tourism businesses and make cash for profit. There are now many small organisations(businesses) claiming to offer volunteer conservation work around the islands most linked/owned directly with/by local tourism businesses,
The truth is the main conservation work there is now being run directly through international NGO's and the national fisheries administration, with this work going on, it is easy for a lot of small local and foreign run businesses to promote volunteer tourism to make a direct profit whilst not actually contributing to the conservation efforts, When choosing your placement in Cambodia look very closely before signing up, especially if your looking for a scientific placement or genuine conservation placement, its a little sad to say but greenwashing is becoming quite frequent and is actually making real conservation more difficult,
However saying that, there are still a number of international volunteer organisations running very good programs which are officially working within the conservation framework of the new marine protected areas and of course ourselves "Marine Conservation Cambodia" who were the very first local organisation to highlight the need for marine conservation around the islands and have been a driving force behind the new marine protected areas.
Whilst still being a grassroots organisation we are rapidly expanding our research programs to include aquarium research alongside field research and we need volunteers and interns with experience in Marine biology, Marine ecology and Marine conservation to help us keep up the momentum we have built over the past 6 years.
Our university internship programs are a chance to put into practice what you have learnt already while getting valuable research experience in the field and your work with us actually gets used to help highlight the habitats and marine species in need of protection.
Our current university interns have been integrating into Khmer culture and really putting their knowledge into practice working together closely with our partner organizations and The Royal Government of Cambodia.
Even if you do not have research expertise in these areas, but you have self motivation and a passion to volunteer and make a difference then you can get involved in many aspects of the volunteer work we are undertaking here in Cambodia.
For those with little or no experience we provide basic training in areas of Marine and terrestrial research, so that you can still contribute to the goals of the project.
As the longest running and most experienced marine research program in Cambodia MCC has proven itself many times to be Cambodia's leading Marine Conservation and Research Organisation, you can make a difference across all of Cambodia's coastal provinces. Our field research covers over 20 of Cambodia's Islands and three provinces so your not limited in your choices and you can experience the real Cambodia. Our captive breeding and aquarium research together with our field research is essential to the conservation of Cambodia's marine habitats. We don't just talk about it, we do it !! and your contribution makes an immediate impact.
Please email us if you are looking to be involved in a project that really makes a difference.
Our project is only made possible by you.
Kep Oceanarium is Cambodia's first dedicated marine aquarium, Marine Conservation Cambodia saw the desperate need for education on marine conservation and after the last 6 years we saw the only way to really achieve this was to build a place where people could come to see what's under the ocean in Cambodia, with displays only covering Cambodian marine life, and eduction on what people can do to help keep Cambodia's ocean beautiful and protected, Kep Oceanarium is the perfect place to be amazed and learn about the ocean.
With full lab facilities and a large behind the scenes research and breeding center, it is a perfect way for volunteers and interns to get some hands on training and be able to fulfill all their needs when joining our team.
Marine Conservation Cambodia not only provides full in field training in marine research and conservation but now we can take you behind the scenes of a small aquarium, and breeding center.
By putting together our survey training, in field marine research and our new aquarium lab facilities we offer the best experience to all our volunteers and interns whilst providing key research to assist the Cambodian Fisheries Administration in its efforts to conserve and protect our ocean. MCC is the only marine conservation organisation in Cambodia to be able to offer you not only our vast experience in the field but also the ability to get involved in a fully operational aquarium.
MCC pioneering and leading marine conservation in Cambodia.
Opening December 2013.
MCC is proud to be Cambodia's leading Marine Conservation organisation, and in being the longest running marine conservation program in Cambodia MCC has developed both regional, national and international partnerships. After 6 years of operations our reputation, commitment and achievements in the field of marine conservation and scientific research have allowed us to begin an amazing new addition to MCC's operations, Cambodia's first Seahorse breeding program.
With the destruction of their habitat Seahorse numbers throughout Cambodia have declined considerably over the past few years, the decline in diversity of species and health of the populations has been shown through our research to be directly linked to habitat destruction and degradation, our new captive breeding program is designed to conserve and protect the variety of species now found in Cambodia and allow reintroduction to the newly created protected areas once habitat recovery has begun. It will still be some time before this is possible but the seahorse breeding program will be an essential tool in the recovery of Cambodia's Seahorse populations. Together with the UK Seahorse Trust and Save our Seahorses Ireland we have put together an experienced and highly motivated team that has seen amazing results in its first 6 months of operation.
So far we have had the pleasure of watching our breeding pairs complete their mating rituals, something we have never experienced first hand before, and then to actually watch the male's pregnancy to the point of birth has been an amazing experience for all our team. The ability to study all of Cambodia's different species of Seahorse in captivity is helping our marine biologists in all aspects of their research and this in turn will help to protect and conserve these amazing creatures for future generations.