On the occasion of July 14 2019 (France’s National Day), the French Embassy in Laos met with three French organizations active in the field of sustainable development in Laos.
Here is the interview with Dr. Camille Coudrat, director of the Association Anoulak (in French):
The original video (with Lao subtitles) was shared on the Facebook Page of the French Embassy of Laos: https://www.facebook.com/ambassade.france.laos/videos/438618066977986/?t=0
Many thanks to the French Embassy for giving us the opportunity to share our work!
For non-French speakers, here is an overview of what is discussed:
The role and objectives of Association Anoulak are to act towards the protection of the biodiversity through 1) scientific research; 2) anti-poaching patrols; 3) capacity building; 4) conservation awareness; 5) community sustainable livelihoods
We only work with Lao people. The goal is to train a Lao team for the long-term sustainability of the project. We work essentially with local communities who still highly rely on natural resources for their subsistence. We employ and train them to implement Anoulak’s activities, which provide them both an alternative income and conservation awareness. In working with us, they understand the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems conservation and how these actions will benefit them in the long-term.
In 2019, we will collaborate with several partners to launch a new program that will focus on the sustainable livelihoods of local communities. Activities implemented will link the local communities’ livelihoods and their use of natural resources, with the main aim to reduce the reliance on natural resources; This will include techniques applied from agroecology , permaculture, natural resources management and marketing etc.
Another program we are working on is the publication of children’s books on biodiversity of the region. We have so far published two books: Wonders of the Annamites (learn more here), and Spirit of the Saola (learn more here).
This year, we will publish a new book with other partners which will be about the Pangolin.
Association Anoulak was first created in collaboration with directors and veterinarians from French zoological parks who were interested in sponsoring a project working in Southeast Asia on gibbons; our actions first started on gibbon research and conservation. Through this initial collaboration, we received more support and partners from France, mainly zoological parks and have since then expended our scope of actions.
Association Anoulak is currently supported by several international partners.
The red-shanked douc (Pygathrix nemaeus) is a primate species which, according to me is the most beautiful primate species in the world! A very colourful species.
We are implementing a program to study their behavioural ecology that consists of observing them in their natural habitat. This program is notably being implemented in collaboration with some zoological parks interested in keeping the species for contributing to their global conservation through breeding and reintroduction in the wild, because this species is highly endangered and could face extinction in the wild in the near future. Therefore, it is important to better understand their behavior (most importantly their feeding ecology and nutritional requirements) to keep them under the best care possible and contribute to their long-term conservation.
This year we are working with a volunteer, Andrea (sent by France Volontaires as an “International Solidarity Volunteer”) who is working on this project to train our local team and collect data. He is staying with us for one year and is based in the field at our field station located in the middle of the forest (which was established in 2015).