Forty young environmental envoys began training on December 5 to become Young Eco Ambassadors, tasked with raising awareness of the need to protect the environment.
Appointed last month as part of a joint project involving Cambodian and Philippine youths, the Eco Ambassadors will act as environmental messengers for their communities. They will be divided into groups and run social media campaigns on eight themes: Forestry, Wildlife, Water, Food, Plastic, Materialism, Energy and Travel.
They will also visit local institutions whose work is related to their theme, as well as the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre and the Chi Phat ecotourism site in Koh Kong province.
The project was officially launched December 5 at Caritas Cambodia, in a ceremony presided over by Environment Minister Say Samal and Courtney Woods, a representative of the US Embassy.
In his remarks, Mr. Samal discussed various ways of preserving the environment, recalling a campaign he encountered in his days as a student overseas.
“When I studied in Australia, there was a big environmental campaign,” he said. “People [were urged to] stopped using plastic bags, and to replace them with eco-friendly bags.”
At the launch event, Seat Lykheang, general manager of the Young Eco Ambassador project, shared his experiences of working in the forest with other youths. He said, “Once we started to connect to the voice of nature, the trees, and the water flowing under the surface of the land, we started to understand the importance of the forest.”
Toch Mayareaksmey, 19, a student at the Australian Centre for Education, said her work as an ambassador for the program would allow her to apply in the real world the things she has learned about the environment at school.
To be implemented over eight months, the Young Eco Ambassador project aims to promote the adoption of a more eco-friendly lifestyle and to raise awareness of environmental issues.