Video exchange initiative to enrich knowledge and promote local solutions on lake management

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 29th Nov 2016

A joint team of the Mekong River Commission’s member countries has launched a new knowledge sharing initiative – Participatory Video Exchange – to enhance sharing of information and best practices on water resources management of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap and Thailand’s Songkhla Lakes. 

MRC Tonle Sap basin in Battambang, Cambodia

Officials from the Tonle Sap and Songkhla lakes interview famers on sustainable fishing at Riang Pen Bey Tor Reservation and Development Area of the Tonle Sap basin in Battambang, Cambodia.

 

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 29th November 2016 - The video exchange initiative is part of the Tonle Sap-Songkhla Lake Basins Communication Outreach Project under the MRC’s Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project (IWRMP). The sister-lake project promotes and facilitates the process of reciprocal learning between the two lakes on lake governance by using communication means.

In this initiative, government officials and community representatives from the two lakes’ communities will act as citizen journalists to produce video clips on local lives and issues involving natural resources management, such as unsustainable practices of community fishing, lack of alternative sources of income in the fishing villages, and impacts of climate change. The videos will also feature practical solutions to address those challenges.

“Video exchange is an innovative and powerful audio-visual tool to create awareness, share knowledge and promote local solutions on management of the sister lakes of Tonle Sap and Songkhla,” said MRC’s Director of Planning Division An Pich Hatda. “It will inspire thought and action from local communities and relevant institutions to sustainably manage their water resources.”                                                            

The sister-lake project began in 2014 as a joint project between Cambodia and Thailand and is one of the five bilateral projects at the transboundary level under the IWRMP. These bilateral projects are all funded by the World Bank and technically supported by the MRC Secretariat.

To kick-off the video exchange initiative, the MRC communication team organized a three-day videography training workshop from 22 to 24 November in Battambang, Cambodia. The workshop provided around 20 officials from the two governments and community representatives from the two lakes with videography skills, including shooting, storytelling and editing.

Within three days, the representatives teamed up in four mixed groups, produced four video clips on local issues and screened them in a small community in Battambang for peer-to-peer learning. These videos will be further translated into Thai in coming months and will be shown in the two lakes’ communities for information exchange, discussion and further action.

“In the past, we did not have budget, experience and necessary skills to create other means of communication such as video, so communication between the two lakes relied heavily on paper-based reports,” said Sin Viseth, Director of Department of Exploitation and Conservation Control of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Authority.

“With this initiative, we will have a more effective way for sharing knowledge and information and reach out to various audiences, from specific target groups to the broad public, calling for their support for better resources management.”

Continuation of this video exchange initiative requires commitment and cooperation between local leaders and community representatives from both lakes.

“From now on, we will be able to jointly reflect issues and solutions on lake management in videos and present them at different communities at the Songkhla and Tonle Sap lakes,” said Sawwanit Pakbara, media and communication focal point of Songkhla working group.   

Local communities at a Cambodian pilot site of the joint project are also committed to extending their support.  

“We may have limited resources and skills, but we are committed to sharing and learning from our counterpart,” said Hor Sam Ath, Deputy Chief of Rohalsoung Sdei Krom Fisheries Community where the filming took place during the workshop. “It will help our communities to find ways to better manage our natural resources, especially water.”

Officials and community representatives from the project teams will continue to work on the video exchange initiative and plan to organise another filming workshop in Songkhla Lake in May 2017.

“This is a good starting point for sharing knowledge from people to people at the Tonle Sap and Songkhla lakes, and we hope this initiative will further promote collaboration between the two governments to expand their support to our local communities,” said Chatchai Ratanachai, National Consultant of the Thai National Mekong Committee on Songkhla Lake.

 -END-

To view a video story on the Participatory Video Exchange initiative, click here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH-WUQLwfFY

To view all video clips produced by the Tonle Sap – Songkhla Lake communication outreach project team, click below links:

For videos in Khmer:

 For videos in Thai:

 

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