Water Falling Festival Part 2 – Big Clean-up at Boeung Pearaing Bird Sanctuary

water falling festival part 2 – big clean-up at beong pearaing bird sanctuary


by Heike Finsterlin

Just 30 minutes from Siem Reap town lies the Beong Pearaing Bird Sanctuary. With its roughly 208 hectares in size consisting of freshwater swamp forests where mangrove trees grow around, it is not only a beautiful and peaceful piece of land, but also home to about 175 rare species of countryside, mountain and waterbirds including Milky Storks, Spot-billed Pelicans, Purple & Grey Herons, Greater Adjutants, Black-headed Ibis and many others. The bird sanctuary used to be a hunting place where birds were killed for food or smuggled to be sold on the world’s growing black market.

Due to the initiative of the local community to preserve the avian habitat, the sanctuary has been developed with the goal to serve as a bird reserve. However, over the last years a new enemy entered the game: plastic! At least as dangerous and deadly as the poachers before to the birds, who sadly mistake plastic for food. That’s why we decided to spend day 2 of the Water Falling Festival in the Bird Sanctuary, organizing a big clean-up with the Eco-Warriors from NGO2 together with the park rangers.

For the girls, it was an amazing experience to spend time in the sanctuary, enjoy the beautiful landscape in the swamps, learn about the birds, the eco-system and support to keep the bird paradise.

In total we were around 100 people, cleaning the walk ways to the water, and further with boats along the shoreline.

The result was not as outstanding in kilos as the day before (but who can top 11tons?!), but with our clean-up, we did our share in preserving a piece of beautiful nature as home for thousands of birds, fishes and small mammals.