Concerned about the decline in Cambodian wildlife, the U.S. Ambassador’s Youth Council (AYC) – in cooperation with Wildlife Alliance (WA) and with funding from the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia – will hold a concert and educational event called “Wild for Life” on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 5:30pm until 9:30pm at the Night Market along the Riverfront in Phnom Penh. The concert aims to raise awareness about wildlife trafficking and engage the public – particularly youth – in protecting Cambodia’s natural heritage, which includes reporting crimes against wildlife by calling 012-500-094, a 24-hour nationwide wildlife rescue hotline operated by WA.
This event will feature opening remarks by Ambassador William E. Todd, a presentation on wildlife species and wildlife laws, and performances by several well-known singers and comedians, including Laura Mam, Jimmy Kiss, and Sokea, as well as traditional dances and puppetry.
Southeast Asia is a source, transit, and destination point for the illegal wildlife trade. Wildlife trafficking is estimated at $20 billion annually, making it one of the most lucrative black market trades in the world. Combined with habitat destruction, wildlife trafficking is pushing many species to extinction. Demand for wildlife and their products for meat, traditional medicine, exotic pets, and trophies fuel the wildlife trade.
To address these threats, Wildlife Alliance (WA) has been working in Cambodia for over 15 years, providing direct protection to forests and wildlife. WA’s mission is to combat deforestation, wildlife extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments. As a result of WA’s comprehensive approach, over 60,000 wild animals have been rescued from the wildlife trade.
The U.S Ambassador’s Youth Council in Cambodia (AYC) officially formed in October 2012 to cultivate the country’s young leaders. Engaging with Cambodian youth on topics of interest to youth solicits input on Embassy programs and U.S. policies in Cambodia. AYC is comprised of 25 youths from across Cambodia who come together for a common goal: working together to prepare young Cambodians to be today’s leaders. One of the AYC’s primary concerns is wildlife and environmental issues and, as such, has partnered with Wildlife Alliance to achieve the common goal of raising awareness and protecting Cambodia’s natural heritage.