NGO Workshops

In 2006, Heritage Watch will begin regular educational workshops for the employees of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in areas of the country where looting is heaviest. These seminars, in addition to stressing the importance of protecting cultural heritage, will provide training on how to recognize recent looting and how to properly report it. NGO workers—especially those working in mine clearance or wildlife protection—are often the first people to discover looting in remote parts of the country. They are thus a great resource for protecting archaeological sites; a resource which has not been tapped until now.

The first training sessions will take place in Preah Vihear province, where antipoaching patrols working for the Wildlife Conservation Society have often witnessed looting in the past. Unfortunately, much of this looting has gone undocumented, as there was no system of reporting previously in place. These workshops will provide such a system through the already established Heritage Hotline, a number where the public can report incidents of looting to Heritage Watch, who then contacts the appropriate authorities.

The second series of workshops will also take place in Preah Vihear, addressing the various governmental and private agencies working in mine clearance—including the Mines Advisory Group, the Cambodian Mine Action Center, and the Halo Trust. These same organizations will be targeted later in the year by workshops in Battambang and Siem Reap provinces.

Heritage Watch would like to thank all the NGOs who have agreed to participate in these workshops, and to promote the Heritage Hotline in their organizations. Also, this project is possible due to the support of
Friends of Khmer Culture, who funded both these workshops and the village training sessions already in progress.
 
"...the most effective measure now would be to sign more bilateral agreements with countries that are under assault from the antiquities trade..." - Roger Atwood.

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