Raising Awareness around Cambodia's Tonlé Sap Lake

Today, Rivers are Life proudly unveils the latest film "Life Afloat" which follows local River Hero, Sarin Roeun, and his passionate conservation efforts on Tonlé Sap Lake in Cambodia. Living in "floating villages" on the lake, just downstream from the Mekong River, the local fishing community works tirelessly to catch fish that provide 60% of Cambodia's protein intake. Local River Heroes have noticed that due to an increase in pollution, the health of the fish population that make their way down the river and into the lake is declining. With roughly six million Cambodians relying on this watershed for food, local residents are working on solutions to control the waste problem and preserve the ecosystem on which they depend.

Sarin Roeun was born and raised right on Tonlé Sap Lake, learning to fish with his father from a young age. As he continued fishing to provide for his family, Sarin noticed a dramatic change that could potentially affect his livelihood, an increase in trash floating down the river, and a decrease in baby fish. In an effort to change this, Sarin works closely with another River Heroe, Sophal Sea, to recruit "eco-warriors" from each village who focus on cleaning up and restoring the lake. Tonlé Sap, also referred to as the lifeblood of Cambodia's economy, connects five different provinces in Cambodia, leading to around half of the population relying solely on fishing to live. 

Sophal Sea co-founded NGO² BambooShoot Foundation in honor of his sister, which plays a crucial part in educating the community and empowering locals at a grassroots level to take action against the influx of plastic waste in the region. Sophal and his organization have remained fully committed to protecting Tonlé Sap since 2018, through education, awareness and solutions for those that call the lake home.  

"I try to unite all the stakeholders in each community because sometimes they don't take action because they don't know how to talk together and work together," said Sophal Sea. "I organized and convinced the monks and also the fisherman to start a tree cleanup to get waste out of the vegetation and mangroves when the water recedes."  

Sophal and other local River Heroes continue to work to advocate for the importance of proper waste collection and removal systems, creating healthier waterways for all to benefit. "Life Afloat" inspires conservationists and others from across the globe to support clean waterways both in their local communities, as well as in impoverished communities such as Cambodia, who rely heavily on clean water systems.

"Life Afloat" premieres February 2, 2024

Watch "Life Afloat" here.

Contact Information:
Katie Horning
Head of Brand, Rivers are Life Brand Division, BeAlive Inc.
[email protected]

Original Source: Rivers are Life Premieres 'Life Afloat'