Sun Visal told Mekongfishnetwork that when he was young and living in his hometown, there were a lot of forests and wildlife, especially water birds. He has loved these natural resources since he was very young. When he grew up, these resources and species decreased, and some no longer exist near his village like in the past. “That’s why he’s interested in conservation work. He currently works for the Department of Freshwater Wetlands under the Ministry of Environment, and also work for the Wildlife Conservation Society at Tonle Sap lake. He’s responsible for monitoring wildlife, especially vulnerable and endangered water birds at the Ramsar Site at Prek Toal of Tonle Sap Lake. His tasks are to search for their nests and breeding areas, provide training to other officers in how to identify birds and collect data, check the birds’ arrivals and reproduction, identify areas to protect, and make monthly plans for local officers to guard the nests from poachers.”

“My work is important to me because it contributes to protecting wildlife that is very important globally. It’s a skill that I’ve loved from a very young age since I’ve seen the decrease in these species. I’m motivated in my work by my love for water birds, and monitoring them is my favorite part of my job. It offers me a chance to study and review the development of birds and their reproduction. These are vulnerable and endangered bird species, and I can share my experiences with local officers and other interested people. My work also gives me the opportunity to learn about conservation from experiences at the international level.”

To him, “conservation” refers to protection so something lasts forever for the next generation. He hopes to encourage others to support conservation by being a role model, doing education and outreach about the importance of conservation, promoting more conservation work, finding benefits of conservation for communities, and showing them its positive impacts. He said his hope for the future is that natural resources and important water birds are well protected, and their numbers increase all over Cambodia. He also wishes that all Cambodians could better understand conservation efforts and become involved in the protection and conservation of the natural resources in the country.

According to