WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
The Cambodia Marine Conservation & Diving project aims to better understand the conservation status of Koh Rong Samloem, both marine and terrestrial, and to assist in raising awareness within local communities about environmental conservation issues. This will hopefully enable communities to lead the conservation and management of the ecosystems on which their livelihoods depend.
Activities will vary depending on the time of year and current priorities, but you could also be conducting snorkel surveys of reef areas, including mapping the health of the reefs. We also identify patterns of resource use, and work with the local community to support environmentally responsible and sustainable development.
The island itself is little studied, but with recent Government backing to promote conservation and research, the local people are keen to be involved in protecting their biodiversity, making this a perfect location for both research and practical conservation activities. You will have the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of conservation and community development initiatives, contributing towards the future protection of this incredible island and its people.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
The project incorporates a number of different elements, all of which combine to not only give you an insight into the workings of the local community and economy, but also lend a hand in protecting rapidly diminishing species. The aim is to provide local stakeholders, research organisations and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of key marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Throughout your time on the island, between the fish ID lectures and daily island life, you will have the opportunity to get involved within a wide range of activities to support the goals of the project which may include beach clean-ups, snorkel surveys and coral damage mapping.
To gather the research data you will be snorkelling the reefs to locate and map them and to study their various wildlife communities. You will also explore and record the organisms that inhabit the inter-tidal zones and the island's inland areas. To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques which may include: underwater census of reef and commercial fish, and assessment of coral cover to determine the extent of coral damage in shallow water areas. You might record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine and terrestrial life. You may even get to study the impact of fishing on the coral reefs or report the effects of global warming on marine communities.
To participate in the scuba diving project work you will need to be qualified to Advanced Open Water or equivalent, with training available in-country at the project site. Please see the extended project cost information for prices for dive training in the warm tropical seas of Cambodia! Once you are a trained diver you will start to take part in our variety of marine conservation programs. A key marine life survey is our seahorse survey which is conducted at a local site. The collected data is provided to the Cambodian Government, aiming to enhance the establishment of a Marine Protected Area in the local Koh Rong archipelago.