The Kouprey Express (KE) mobile education team has returned from their second ever international trip to Thailand! The KE team spent a week in Thailand, near the Thai-Cambodian border, working with four Thai National Park Rangers to provide environmental lessons to 257 primary and secondary school students. This cross-border collaboration is helping to preserve Thailand and Cambodia’s natural heritage in a region where the two cultures meld and the wildlife is not confined by international borders. In this southeastern region of Thailand, not only are the landscape and wildlife very similar to that in Cambodia, but around 30% of the people also speak the Cambodian language of Khmer. The KE team translated all of their educational materials into Thai to ensure the same message of conservation is being spread on both sides of the border. These lessons inspire students and community members to love wildlife and to preserve their natural environment as well as understand the impacts of climate change. As a special treat for the students, rangers and staff from Ta Phraya National Park accompanied the KE team to provide students in depth information about the forestry and wildlife laws of Thailand. They also helped teach the students the forestry and wildlife crime hotline numbers for both Thailand and Cambodia.
This international collaboration is ensuring that conservation efforts are not restrained by borders and is helping students to understand that it does not matter where you come from but that we all need to work together to protect nature and our planet. As we raise a new generation of conservationists, we hope they will grow up with a new mindset towards natural resources and they will avoid damaging forests and poaching wildlife. This international effort was made possible by our longtime supporters at the Freeland Foundation, and the Kouprey Express team is eagerly planning their next trip to Thailand in the next few months! To help the KE team continue to inspire young people to protect their natural heritage, please visit our donation page and select ‘Environmental Education & Outreach’ from the list of funds.