July 3, 2024

Mekong Discovery Days at the 13th Cambodia International Film Festival

The “Mekong Discovery Days”, a significant feature of the 13th Cambodia International Film Festival, was held on June 27–28, 2024, with an attendance of about 3,000 participants at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC). The event was inaugurated by H.E. Dith Tina, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, emphasizing the critical importance of environmental conservation along the Mekong River, its coastal areas, and regions throughout Cambodia for sustainable development.

This special program served as a platform to showcase the collaborative efforts of ministries, national and international organizations, and individuals in promoting environmental sustainability for future generations. The two-day event included an engaging exhibition on the diverse bird species of Cambodia, insightful presentations, short video screenings on environmental protection, and interactive discussions between experts and students.

On the first day of the event, there were some experts to provide a presentation on various environmental topics, such as:

● Presentation: “Exploring the Avian Biodiversity of Cambodia” by Mr. Suy Senglim, Biodiversity Photographer

● Panel Discussion: How climate change affect youth employment? by Ms. Chhunmuoy Ath, Communications Analyst at UNDP, and Mr. Pach Pagnavorn, member of the UN Youth Advisory Panel Cambodia (UNYAP).

● Presentation: “Protecting Cambodia’s Marine Jewels: Coral Reefs and Sea Turtles” by Fauna & Flora Cambodia by Majel Kong, Research Specialist, Marine Plastics.

● Presentation: “Enhancing Biodiversity: Deploying Artificial Habitats Off Koh Ach Seh Island” by Dr. Khov Kuong, Deputy Director-General of the Fisheries Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.


The second day of the event highlighted other interesting topics by other experts from institutions, such as the following:

● Panel discussion under the theme “Eco-Innovations: Transforming Urban Waste into Resources” by experts from Ms. Hul Hunsotheary, co-founder of Ruy Reach, Ms. Monorom Chwoa, founder of Composity, and Ms. Sok Sothearath, founder of Junlen, moderated by Ms. Sotheavin Doch, Program Coordinator (Gender Equality) at the Heinrich Böll Stiftung

● Panel discussion under theme, “Discovery of the Mekong: Experiences as a Young Scientist!” by young scientists, moderated by Mrs. Seila Chea, Project Manager and Coordinator at Wonder of the Mekong

● Presentation “Protecting Cambodia’s Marine Ecosystems in the Context of Climate Change” by Mrs. Yem Sopheap, Vice President of Prek Thot Community, Ms. Thap Rachana, Executive Director, Marine Conservation, moderated by Mr. Rot Vann Chhai, Program Coordinator at the Heinrich Böll Stiftung

● Panel discussion under theme, “From Lenses to Conservation: The Art of Biodiversity Imaging” by Mr. Suy Senglim, Biodiversity Photographer, Mr. Meng Kimlong, Biodiversity Cinematographer, Mrs. Thaung Ret, Biodiversity and Science Manager, moderated by Mr. Yean Reaksmey, Art Researcher and Curator, Silapak Trotchaek Pneik


“Mekong Discovery Days” successfully linked the role of art with environmental awareness, utilizing digital short videos for promotion and education. The event aims to continue its mission annually, fostering a love for the environment through the powerful medium of film and digital storytelling.


The organizers expressed sincere gratitude to all the sponsors for their generous funding support and to the CJCC for hosting the event. Special thanks were extended to the speakers and moderators from various organizations and a representative from community, including UNDPMinistry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Silapak Trotchaek Pneik, Wonders of the Mekong, Marine Conservation Cambodia, Compost City, Junlen, Ruy Reach, Conservation International Cambodia, Prek Tnoat Community, CINE HUB, Birds of Cambodia Education & Conservation, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung Cambodia, for their valuable contributions as well as students from other schools and universities in Phnom Penh.