On the last day of March, a group of 15 students from Pannasastra university of Cambodia arrived on the island for a two-day study visit with MCC team. They came on Koh Seh to learn about ocean protection, a topic they are deeply interested in since most of them are majoring in environmental sciences.
However, some were also from different background and it was truly motivating to see that, despite this difference, they were all happy to get the chance to know more about conservation.
Their experience started, as always, by the amazing induction of the island by our Australian guide, Carney. This island’s detailed tour is a sine quanone condition for a good understanding of the life we are living here. Thus, every person that step on Koh Seh’s ground with the intention of staying, even for a short amount of time, has to do it once. Our visitors did it with pleasure, which put our guide under an unusual pressure because of the important audience he had, but his experience in this domain allowed him to complete perfectly the induction.
After a short break, Amick and Paul carried on this teaching vibe with the introduction presentation. According to the expression of their faces during this presentation, these details, stories, images about illegal fishing and marine creatures absorbed them as much as any other Koh Seh resident. It is always fascinating to have the chance to listen to these testimonies on the devastating consequences of trawling, and the way to face them, stop them, which allow the unique environment we are evolving in to come back to life. Finally, the students watched the documentary “Racing extinction” to complete this day of study.
The second, and last day, we organized with them more hands on activities to show them a different side of the conservationist life. First, they helped us to clean our island from all the rubbish that are constantly washing up on our beaches. Their motivation and efficiency were contagious and it didn’t took us long to clear a whole part of our shore. Then, during the afternoon, we took them on a snorkeling session, supervised by our team of divers. It’s been a great occasion for them to discover our beautiful reef and look for the species they heard about during the presentation.
We hope these two days showed them how important conservation and protection of the ocean are in Cambodia. For us, it is really inspiring to see how young generations are willing to learn about their environment, no matter their different backgrounds. Their interests, and thus potentials, on conservation work are huge. We now have to give them opportunities to express and realize this will to change the situation, and that’s what we are trying to do in MCC by welcoming these groups.