The Stoung North Community Management Committee (CMC) recently visited a local school to raise awareness on behalf of the Bengal Florican. During the visit, nine hundred specially made exercise books, including a wealth of information about the Bengal Florican, were handed out to students.
Staff from the Forestry Administration, WCS and the Sam Veasna Center (SVC) have facilitated the creation of four CMCs in Stoung and Chikraeng districts to protect the floodplain grasslands. Elections were held in December 2009 and the CMCs were officially recognized by district officials soon afterwards. The CMCs have received training in concepts such as natural resource management, and two of the four committees have been trained in providing guiding services for visiting birdwatchers.
From the very beginning the CMCs have been very committed and active. One of the committees has set up an official office and meeting point, and plans are being made to construct shelters in the grasslands so that the committees can monitor human activity in the grasslands. Income received from tourism goes towards funding this work, with a portion of the proceeds also set aside for community projects.
This initiative is funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement , Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.