"Life Afloat" is about NGO2 BambooShoot's work on the watershed of the Tonle Sap lake since 2018, in collaboration with Ocean Recovery Alliance to raise awareness, educate and problem solve the issues of plastic in the floating water communities along the shores of Cambodia’s “Inland Ocean.” This movement within the lake’s villages has been created through festivals, workshops, cleanup events (lake, river and villages), generating awareness pride and excitement. In between the bi-annual festivals, the Harvest Plastic program will be implemented, focusing on plastic from floating and stilted households, directly avoiding burning and dumping into the environment. Harvest Plastic was initiated during the pandemic, with food baskets given as rewards for the recovery of their household and "environmental" (outdoor) plastic. With proper funding, the program will include regular collections every two weeks from each village, recovering all types of plastic, without food waste and other materials to avoid contamination right from the start.
Most of these stilted and floating villages have little to no waste infrastructure, and previously could not collect, contain and remove plastic waste from their homes and waters of the lake. It has been important for NGO2 to curate grassroots movements and create a sense of ownership to encourage ongoing work and education in these areas. But the work is not done, as there are 180 villages on the lake, and we have plans to expand, with some villages, even from across the lake, now wanting to be involved with the Harvest Plastic programs and festivals. In order for this to happen, financial support is critical, as much of the work has to do with the engagement of people, both with our Eco Warriors, and the village communities.
Last year we created the Inland Ocean Festival on the banks of the lake, celebrating the waters and pollution reduction with over 10,000 local community members, combined with a revived monk festival. This included a workshop with high school students to make 150 puppet lanterns, which were used in the day/night parade, creating a virtual “night aquarium” once the sun set on the lake’s waters. We plan to host this event again this year, benefiting the eco-tourism community, particularly in the off-season, but also raising further pride for protection of the lake. The event will be held on the UN’s World Ocean Day, June 8th.
Click here to see the beautiful 14 minute film about some of the life on the lake, and the impacts of plastic pollution, thanks to Rivers Are Life for producing the movie: https://youtu.be/QstfPQ85j3Q?si=B1Cw36HJFP7L_ojC
Your donations will help to fund our overall expansion and annual activities, including:
Education of our Eco Warriors (high school and university students, many who originated from these villages) who go house to house to raise awareness and encourage sorting and containment of household plastic as part of the Harvest Plastic Program.
Ongoing removal of household plastic through regular collections (by boat, and eventually by truck), with all of the plastic now going to a brand new sorting and recycle center in Siem Reap.
Ongoing cleanups for environmental plastic left behind after the monsoon waters recede.
Additional Festivals and awareness campaigns in villages where we previously do not have a presence.
Below are some examples of where your dollars will go to help support the ongoing efforts to protect the Tonle Sap from Plastic :
$100 - Eco warriors weekly visits to individual households
$200 - Monthly waste removal from community to recyclers
$300 - Community outreach education
$500 - Workshop training
$1500- Support one community for a month of education and plastic removal
$2000- Exclusively support one Cleanup event
$5000 - Gold sponsor for a major Festival
$18,000 - Exclusive sponsorship for the Harvest plastic program for an entire year
Ocean Recovery Alliance was established in 2010, and has worked with both United Nations Environment and the World Bank on multiple occasions on global solutions for plastic pollution. It was the first group in the world to create a plastic footprinting methodology for businesses and institutions (Plastic Disclosure Project – 2010), and the Global Alert App, allowing people to report trash hot-spots anywhere in the world’s waterways and coastlines. The group is a registered 501c3 NGO in the United States, and is a registered charity in Hong Kong. Tax deductible receipts can be provided upon request for either location for donations over US$50. All of the funds collected will be used for our collective work in Cambodia, which NGO2 Bambooshoot Foundation leads locally in the Tonle Sap watershed.