Life on Cambodia’s ‘inland ocean’: protecting life and biodiversity on the Tonle Sap

Life on Cambodia's 'inland ocean': protecting life and biodiversity on the Tonle Sap

Join us for two special performances of “Angkor Roo – the Recycling Rooster”, a play which is in eight languages, bringing education and awareness to communities about improved recycling, with a message from Angkor Roo himself.

The theatre group from Siem Reap has had the honour to perform Angkor Roo at the large, global UN Habitat Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2018, and will be performing for free on the nights of March 25th and 26th for the Siem Reap community to enjoy. Angkor Roo uses the power of nature, and “Eco-Repetition” to deliver a memorable and inspiring message to youth and adults alike, about the importance of keeping our waters and environment clean and free from plastic pollution.

The simultaneous and complementary photo exhibit, “Life on Cambodia’s Inland Ocean – Protecting Life and Biodiversity on the Tonle Sap,” will show images of some of the lifestyles, events and impacts of the Water Falling festivals over the previous years, as photographed by Chris Hall, also a resident of Siem Reap. The photo exhibit will be shown on the FCC lawn all weekend and will open on Friday evening at 5:00 pm on the 24th to start the weekend events.

The event will include two puppet-making workshops, with award-winning puppet maker from Siem Reap, Soran Sorn, who is also the director of the Angkor Roo performance. Each will be free to attend, starting from 3:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

A separate workshop on plastic pollution (global and local), will be conducted on Saturday afternoon by the global NGO, Ocean Recovery Alliance, and its local partner, NGO2 Bamboo Shoot from 2:00-3:30 pm (not 1 pm as mentioned in the flyer), and will include Douglas Woodring, speaker at global events on plastic pollution, winner of the Prince’s Prize from Prince Albert of Monaco for his work, and UNEP Climate Hero (limited seating, rsvp:

The Water Rising and Falling Festivals are unique, as they happen along the shores of Cambodia’s “Inland Ocean,” the Tonle Sap, and relate to the recurrent seasonal raising and falling of the waters. During this ebb and flow of the waters, plastic gets left behind in the mangrove trees and on the ground, creating unhealthy conditions for the environment and for the inhabitants of the water communities., has helped to raise awareness of the dangers of single use plastic and styrofoam, and its effects on the biodiversity of the Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s Inland Ocean. In June of 2019 the Water Rising Festival was also added as an annual occurrence to complete the seasonal cycle of the lake.

As the programs expand to new villages, the “Harvest Plastic Only” program has been tested and adopted, focusing the recovery of only plastic in specially produced “rice bags,” which each household uses to recovery all of their plastic, avoiding contamination from other food waste, and to prevent dumping and burning. This captured material will be easier to recycle and repurpose in ways which can help avoid landfills in the future.

The program’s high school and university student “eco-warriors” help to education and train local communities in how to Harvest Plastic Only in ways that then make a great difference to the local fishing and tourism industries, as well as the delicate ecosystem.

Sponsor/exhibitor contact

Doug Woodring
[javascript protected email address]

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