In 2004, Wildlife Alliance launched a national campaign to raise awareness about wildlife conservation and habitat preservation utilizing public service announcements, billboards, and a mobile environmental education project for Cambodia’s youth about wildlife conservation and habitat preservation.
Named for the Kouprey (Bos sauveli), a species of ox believed to be extinct in the wild, the Kouprey Express is a bus full of engaging and interactive educational materials that travels throughout the Southern Cardamoms visiting schools and rural villages teaching environmental protection and management. Using the Kouprey as a symbol demonstrates the perilous situation of Cambodia’s wildlife and makes it clear that Cambodia’s endangered species could also disappear if not protected.
Beginning in 2008, the Kouprey Express adopted a targeted strategy to maximize impact by distributing reusable environmental education curricula and materials, and by training teachers in Koh Kong province how to use these curricula. Currently, the Kouprey Express team targets up to 20 primary schools per year conducting lessons in habitat and wildlife protection, pollution prevention, sustainable livelihoods, and energy use and climate change. The team also conducts teacher trainings and delivers lesson plans and other materials that teachers can use throughout the school year, thereby integrating environmental education into their core curriculum. The final component of Kouprey’s environmental education program is Community Night Shows that bring whole communities together for exciting and enjoyable evenings that also teach important environmental lessons. In 2013, the Kouprey Express signed a new project agreement with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia. This new MOU expands Kouprey's reach to include government schools and conduct Community Night Shows in Phnom Penh and Kompong Som, which is home to Cambodia’s largest port Sihanoukville.
Since the Kouprey Express began, the team has brought enviromental education and training to 44,765 children and 469 teachers in 197 schools and increased environmental awareness among 126,638 community members through Community Night Shows. The Kouprey Express proudly stands at the nexus of change in Cambodia, which starts with the youngest generations, in educating Cambodians about their unique natural heritage and effecting positive change in attitudes toward wildlife and habitat – one child, one animal, one tree at a time – for Cambodia’s forests and wildlife.