The Babbler is the quarterly newsletter of the BirdLife Cambodia Programme. It reports on all aspects of the BirdLife Cambodia Programme, including project news. Its scope though is regional and it covers topical environmental and biodiversity stories from throughout the Greater Mekong region including Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It includes regular sections on Important Bird and Biodiversity Area news, features on rare species and relevant recent publications. It is available freely on the BirdLife International website as well as ISSUU. Starting with the first issue in March 2002, The Babbler recently reached its 50th issue milestone.
The Babbler was originally conceived to keep our supporters and colleagues informed of developments within the BirdLife Indochina Programme, which was based in Hanoi. The first issue in March 2002 was compiled by Vu Thi Minh Phuong who compiled the first 13 issues, with assistance on issues 7 and 8 from Nguyen Thi Ngoc Ha. The first issue was produced in portrait and was only 8 pages in length. Issue 2 saw the introduction of the babbler logo. Dang Nguyen Hong Hanh compiled issues 14 to 20. Le Quynh Giao compiled issue 21, Simon Mahood issues 27 and 28, and Ananda Van Boeyen issues 29 and 30. Issue 31 saw a marked change in style and layout with the arrival of Nguyen Huu Mai Phuong as new communications officer. Phuong dramatically altered the style and The Babbler switched to being landscape format and featured a picture cover by British wildlife artist Greg Poole. Phuong’s last issue of The Babbler was number 35 and Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong took over from issue 36. Huong’s tenure as compiler coincided with her role as communications officer for the Birdlife regional implementation team for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund project. She continued in this role until the end of the project, producing a total of 11 issues. Tracy Jane Brookshaw took over as compiler from issue 47 and continues in this role to this day. Jonathan C Eames who originally conceived the idea of The Babbler has been editor since the first issue.
Covering a twelve-year period so far, The Babbler represents the history of a BirdLife regional and county programme. In that respect it is unique. It represents a priceless record and a snapshot in time of the evolution of part of the conservation movement in the world’s most rapidly changing region.
Huong, Ananda, Phuong