FCC Angkor by Avani – in collaboration with two civil society organisations working in the Tonle Sap Lake area – organised a three-day exhibition about people’s life along the lake and conjoined river, including the area’s pervasive pollution by plastic waste.
According to a joint press release, the March 24-26 photo exhibition – “Life on Cambodia’s Inland Ocean: Protecting Life and Biodiversity on the Tonle Sap” – displayed images of some of the lifestyles of people who live on and nearby the waters of the lake (technically, inland seas are always salt water and the Tonle Sap is fresh water, ergo it is a lake).
The two NGOs collaborating with FCC Angkor on the event were Ocean Recovery Alliance and NGO2 BambooShoot Foundation, both based in Siem Reap. They moderated a discussion forum on improving recycling and the reduction of plastic pollution in the Tonle Sap Lake area.
“The Water Falling and Water Rising Festivals have inspired and engaged some of the local lakeside village communities to become more aware and active about not dumping or burning their plastic waste, improving fishing, tourism and the ecosystems around the lake along the way,” FCC Angkor said in a press release.
BambooShoot director Sea Sophal told The Post on March 26 that the three-day exhibition featured special performances for the public by “Angkor Roo: The Recycling Rooster”. Angkor Roo is the protagonist character in a theatrical stage play performed in eight languages that is meant to educate and raise awareness in the community about improved recycling.
“The simultaneous and complementary photo exhibition will show images of some of the lifestyles and events and impacts of the Water Falling festival over the previous years, as photographed by Chris Hall, also a resident of Siem Reap,” he said.
Sophal said he believed that the main events in this exhibition would help visitors to understand the impact of plastics on the environment by giving them the opportunity to discuss those challenges and brainstorm solutions to what should be a pretty easy problem to solve, especially related to plastic pollution and education.
“As the programme expands to new villages, the ‘Harvest Plastic Only’ programme has been tested and adopted, focusing the recovery of only plastic in specially produced ‘rice sacks’, which each household uses to recover all of their plastic, avoiding contamination from other food waste and to prevent dumping and burning,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Environment, a lot of plastic waste is dumped into Tonle Sap Lake by local communities, which flows into rivers and streams in the area. versa.