As interesting as discussing global definitions and questionings may be, the field of conversation also has high demand for action. Today we will be exploring a specific example of a non-governmental organization (NGO) struggling with global governance challenges, economical pressures and ethical behaviors. ACCB, Angkor Center for Conservation of Biodiversity is "the first nature conservation and endangered wildlife rescue and breeding center in Cambodia”. The ACCB works everyday, rescuing animals listed on the ICUN red list (a comprehensive list of endangered species). Most of the animals rescued by the center have been the object of an intense pet trade ring and have therefore been suffering from the aftermath of physical and emotional abuses. ACCB works in rehabilitating them for future release in a wild environment. Today the center harbors a few dozen threatened species amongst which figures the Malayan Pangolin, the Pileated Gibbon, the Leopard Cat and the Lesser Adjutant. However noble this organization’s goals and values are, today ACCB is facing some very complex challenges, preventing them from fully investing in their initial goal of conservation. Examples of such threats follow: complicated access to animal specific feeds and medicine, lack of authority regarding seizure of illegal traded animals, lack of resources for infrastructure improvements, space management issues and lack of scientific knowledge regarding specific threatened species.
This article may initially appear as defeatist but from our perspective, it's quite the opposite. ACCB is a in situ example of people's determination to see a change in the world, and they are ready to take action for that to happen. This article is meant to highlight existing environmental structures and encourage more people to take interest and join positive forces. Later this fall, the Human Agreement will be drafting a real Grant Proposal to promote awareness and find applicable solutions to some of ACCB's problems.
Sources: in the field interview with the manager of the site
Photography: Anna Chahuneau