About Wildlife Alliance
Wildlife Alliance’s mission is to combat deforestation, wildlife extinction and poverty through innovative partnerships with local communities and governments. Our programs protect the Cardamom Rainforest Landscape, provide environmental education, combat wildlife trafficking, care for rescued wildlife and release suitable animals. Each year, an average of 1,500 newly rescued animals arrive at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre (PTWRC) in addition to ~1,400 permanent residents of over 100 species at the center. No wild animal in need is turned away. Rehabilitated animals deemed ready for life in the wild are soft-released in protected forests surrounding the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, Angkor Archeological Park, Siem Reap, and at our Wildlife Release Station in the Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary.
We have a special reason for supporting the wonderful work of Wildlife Alliance.
Last summer, my family and I travelled within Cambodia where we saw at first hand the work of Wildlife Alliance. We based ourselves in the Chi Phat Ecotourism Village within the rainforest of the Cardomom Mountains. Wonderfully remote, this was a privilege in itself. The people we met here had been able to replace their previous incomes (logging and poaching) with income from eco-tourism and employment as wildlife rangers in the Community Anti-Poaching Unit. They have immense pride in their work. They also work hand in hand with WA to guide tourists between Chi Phat and the Wildlife Release Station situated 8km away in the Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary.
We had arranged to spend a few nights at the Wildlife Release Station, but our arrival sadly coincided with the beginning of the monsoon. Rivers, swollen by the overnight deluge, meant that our motorbike drivers had to turn back about 2km short of tour destination. Exciting though the ride had been, we were bitterly disappointed. Wildlife Alliance was kind enough to arrange for us to visit the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre a few days later instead. Close to Phnom Penh, this is where they care for injured animals that have been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade before preparing them, when possible, for release. We saw professionalism and compassion at work.
Travelling in Cambodia, and spending time in the Cardamom Mountains made it very clear to me how fragile the rain-forest is in the face of SE Asia’s voracious ‘progress’. Data from Global Forest Watch shows that, between 2001 and 2019, Cambodia lost about 24 percent of its tree cover, a much higher percentage than larger, forested countries including Brazil and Indonesia, and the rate of loss is increasing rapidly. I came home with a mantra in my head: ‘Save Cambodia, save the world’. It seems a bit daft, but it has stuck with me.
I returned home feeling a moral imperative to act – somehow. Now, launching myecopledge.co.uk, I see an opportunity to help raise funds for and awareness of their work.
Since my visit, the work of Wildlife Alliance has been hit by Covid-19. Revenue from foreign tourism, which accounted for about 40% of their annual income, has disappeared for the foreseeable future. The income local people derived from tourism has also diminished. Although they still benefit from some domestic tourism, limited opportunities to earn may well lead to a return to poaching, supplying the lucrative illegal trade in wildlife.
This is a precarious time for Wildlife Alliance’s work, and therefore for the rain-forests, the wildlife and the people of Cambodia. Please support them.