Saturday, 3 February 2007

Osmose



Osmose is a small NGO launched in 1999 to implement a pilot conservation and development project in three floating villages of the Prék Toal area of the Tonlé Sap lake. Its aim is to link the preservation of endangered water bird colonies and the protection of the environment to the sustainable development of these local fishing communities. Today the project is helping more than 130 very poor families whilst working on three areas:

1. Conservation: A local conservation team, employing 25 villagers, is taking care of the protection of the waterbird colonies. 12 of them are former illegal bird and egg collectors - they were once at the root of the problem.



2. Education: From Monday to Friday Osmose collects children from their floating homes and offers them environmental classes. More than 1,100 children learn why it's so important to take care of the Tonlé Sap and how illegal fishing and hunting has a negative impact on their own future.





3. Ecotourism: Guided tours of the bird sanctuary and the three floating villages provide alternative income to the villagers. Osmose has also supported the revival of the local knowledge of water hyacinth weaving. 23 women have set up a little store in the village Prek Toal to sell their handicraft and in mid-February they will also start selling their products at the new night market of Siem Reap. Expectations are high - so far these women have managed to double their income with this project .

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