Mekong Conservation Heroes

The goal of the Mekong Conservation Heroes program is to shine a spotlight on inspiring individuals in the Lower Mekong Basin working to study, protect, or raise awareness about the Mekong River’s unique ecosystem, biodiversity, habitats, and cultural heritage. Explore the profiles below to meet the Heroes of 2018–2019 and learn about their stories! The Mekong Conservation Heroes program is part of the Wonders of the Mekong project funded by USAID.

Aing Sereyrath, Co-Founder and Project Coordinator for the Young Eco Ambassadors

“Youth are the catalyst of change, and they give me hope for the future. I work with young people to educate them about the value of natural resources in Cambodia. Once they understand, they will do something to change and find solutions to the problems. Nature makes us feel fresh, and no matter how tired we get, nature heals us.”  View Sereyrath’s profile


 Bran Sinal, Manager of the Mekong Turtle Conservation Center

“I love taking care of animals and understanding the nature of their lives. I like that I can take care of and raise turtles, and at the same time I can teach the younger generation to understand about conservation and protection of turtles and softshell turtles. My love for these animals grows stronger day by day – they are very gentle and never harm us.”  View Sinal’s profile


 Chea Seila, National Wetland and Livelihood Expert with GITEC-IGIP

“I have been working for many years with fishers and remote communities who greatly depend on fishery and forestry products for food and income. Life and nature are the same. Different people have different interests, but humans have one big concern: how their young generation will be able to access fresh air, a good environment, and good healthy food.”  View Seila’s profile


Hong Chamnan, Project Manager with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Conservation Society

“I currently work towards the conservation of endangered and vulnerable birds such as the Saurus Crane and Bengal Florican. We have to make sure that communities take part in protecting bird species so they can survive for a long time. I’m so happy and proud of my work once communities understand and become involved in our conservation efforts.”  View Chamnan’s profile


Sun Visal, Senior Project Officer with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Conservation Society

“I’m motivated in my work by my love for water birds, and monitoring them is my favorite part of my job. These are vulnerable and endangered bird species, and I can share my experiences with local officers and other interested people. My work is important to me because it contributes to protecting wildlife that are very important globally.”  View Visal’s profile


 Thach Phanara, Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute

“I have spent my career studying the fish of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, and working for conservation and outreach related to endangered fish species. My hope for the future is that fishermen, fishing communities, and the whole world, not only Cambodians, will understand about the importance of conservation for themselves, their communities, and their countries.”  View Phanara’s profile


Mekong Conservation Heroes at a 2018 conservation storytelling workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Celebrating the Mekong Conservation Heroes at a 2018 dinner in Phnom Penh, Cambodia