A library to educate the youth about cranes and wetlands was launched this past weekend in the Anlung Pring Protected Landscape in Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district, where the main target group for the library is located.
According to NatureLife Cambodia – a conservation organisation established with support from BirdLife International and financial support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund – the library was established with the aim of providing information about the importance of the protected landscape area and the identity and ecology of cranes and various water birds.
“The target group for this outreach education is students from six primary and secondary schools around the protected area. On February 12, the library welcomed its first guests – 23 children from Thmorberk Primary School,” it said.
The children spent half a day watching educational films on cranes and conservation, listening to presentations by park rangers, painting and colouring illustrations of water birds, and helping to clean up the wetland conservation area.
“Studying outside of the classroom is an opportunity for young people to gain knowledge and experience at the same time,” said NatureLife.
Kampot provincial Department of Environment director Eng Polo supported the establishment of the library, saying it would be an excellent resource to train local students and teach them to understand the importance of the wildlife in the area.
“If the younger generation is aware of the importance of conserving these animals, they will grow up learning that it is wrong to hunt them or buy their meat,” he told The Post on February 17.
He added that he would investigate whether there was anything his department could do to increase cooperation with local schools, or if there were ways to expand the library’s reach to students who lived further away.
“Libraries are ideal places for spreading knowledge. We cannot wait to educate adults – the younger generation understands that environmental devastation comes from adults, not children,” he said.
According to Polo, the number of cranes in the Anlung Pring Protected Landscape has increased this year.