After the opening ceremony of Stung Areng Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) on January 26th, nearly 100 people rode motorbikes and bicycles on rugged terrain to a camping site on top of a mountain. Wildlife Alliance, Koh Kong Provincial Authorities and Thmor Bang District Authorities co-organized youth camping in Veal Srol, one of the main ecotourism attractions in Areng Valley.
H.E. Mithona Phouthong, Governor of Koh Kong Province, On Phea Reak, Deputy Provincial Governor, Suwanna Gauntlett, CEO Wildlife Alliance, 50 members of Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia from all districts of Koh Kong province and local community members enjoyed camping, a bonfire, barbecue, singing and dancing.
The event celebrated the Stung Areng CBET opening and kicked off the beginning of many tourist activities to come. The new ecotourism venture aims to improve the livelihoods of families in 8 villages in the Areng valley. Wildlife Alliance has provided technical training and financial support to assist the community in opening it’s doors to tourists and generate sustainable incomes. This new project will model a the CBET project in Chi Phat, which Wildlife Alliance helped to open and has been supporting for ten years. By empowering community members with new skills and alternative sources of income, we aim to mitigate deforestation and poaching in the area.