Tonle Sap River, located in Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang Province, connects the mighty Mekong River to the Tonle Sap Great Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Tonle Sap River flows into the lake when the Mekong rises, and back out from the lake when the Mekong’s water level is low. The water, nutrients, and fish carried by the Tonle Sap River from the Mekong are critical to the health of the lake’s floodplains where flooded forests and shrubs provide critical habitat for aquatic life. The Tonle Sap ecosystem is one of the world’s most productive and fish-abundant, and provides Cambodia with almost half of its total fish production. But the Tonle Sap River is threatened by illegal fishing activities, flooded forest deforestation, domestic waste, untreated industrial effluent, agrochemicals, and low water levels mainly due to large hydrodam development on the upstream Mekong. Tonle Sap River Waterkeeper will strengthen and mobilize community groups to protect the river from all threats by effectively conducting evidence-based advocacy programs that respond to harmful development policies and programs, and build a strong, unified voice for watershed protection.
Mr. Vouth Veurn is the Tonle Sap Waterkeeper and Acting Executive Director of Community Capacities for Development (CCD), sponsor of the Waterkeeper Organization. CCD is active in the efforts to save the Tonle Sap’s fisheries from pollution and development threats as a member of the Fisheries Action Coalition Team led by Tonle Sap Lake Waterkeeper Senglong Youk. Since 2008, Vouth has been working with communities living around and on the Tonle Sap River, improving sustainable management of fishery resources, increasing opportunities for fishing communities to access alternative and better livelihoods, and increasing access to improved sanitary facilities. Vouth has served as a deputy program manager at International Relief & Development, and as a project manager for the Cambodia Climate Investment Fund of Live & Learn Cambodia. He is an active member of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, an NGO-membership organization, and serves as the deputy leader of the network in Kampong Chhnang Province. Vouth has a Bachelor's degree in Education Science from Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University.
Phaé Village, Sangkat Phaé,
Krong Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Chhnang Province