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The Wonders of the Mekong: A Foundation for Sustainable Development and Resilience is an initiative to study the biodiversity, climate, and hydrology of the Mekong River Basin, build partnerships between organizations working toward a sustainable future for the region, and develop educational and communication materials to increase awareness about the value of a healthy Mekong River, with a focus on Cambodia. The project also hopes to foster discussions about aligning development goals with conservation, and how the Mekong region can adapt to a changing climate.

As a partner on this project, FISHBIO has led several capacity building and communication activities. This has included organizing several workshops in Cambodia on topics such as endangered wildlife conservation, and the research and management of migratory fishes. We also coordinated the Mekong Conservation Heroes program, which recognizes the work of inspiring individuals engaged in conservation in the Mekong Basin. This has included organizing trainings for the Conservation Heroes on multimedia communication and other skills, as well as creating media profiles for each of the heroes. FISHBIO is also coordinating communications for the Wonders of the Mekong project as a whole, including the production of several videos; managing social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and posting project updates on the website and newsletter of the Mekong Fish Network. In collaboration with Young Eco Ambassadors, FISHBIO is working conduct an acoustic telemetry study of migratory fishes and is also exploring potential applications of environmental DNA sampling in Cambodia.

The Wonders of the Mekong is a partnership between the University of Nevada Reno’s Global Water Center and the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute of Cambodia (IFReDI), with funding from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Other collaborators in addition to FISHBIO include Utah State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Sydney. This interdisciplinary team is studying the economic, environmental, and cultural importance of the Mekong to describe the tangible and intangible benefits of this rich ecosystem.

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Publications

Loury, E.K., V.L. Elliott, S.M. Ainsley, I.G. Baird, L.J. Baumgartner, S. Chhuoy, D.J. Lee, P.B. Ngor, B. Touch, A.V. Vu, and Z.S. Hogan, Z.S. 2021. Priority knowledge needs for management of migratory fish species in Cambodia. Fisheries Management and Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/fme.12483

Loury, E.K., J.C. Eschenroeder, L. Seat, S. Chea; C. Chhut; S. Kritsanavarin; S. Lovgren, E.G. Ramsay, D. Thao, and Z.S. Hogan. 2021. Communicating for Aquatic Conservation in Cambodia and Beyond: Lessons Learned from In-Person and Media-Based Environmental Education and Outreach Strategies. Water, 13, 1853. DOI: 10.3390/w13131853

 

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