Community based sea turtle and endangered marine species conservation involving coastal fishing communities.
Work and Achievements
TREE Foundation is an NGO, founded by Dr. Supraja Dharini in 2002 inspired and guided by Dr. Jane Goodall DBE with a primary mission of protecting the fragile marine eco-system, sea turtle and marine mammal populations and empowering communities. The Foundation focuses on conservation of sea turtles through community education, training and appointing of local young fishermen as Sea Turtle Protection Force (STPF) members. The STPF become key players in monitoring of nesting turtles, relocating eggs into purpose built hatcheries, providing protection from poachers and predators and in spreading the conservation message to community members. By providing education and awareness programs to all stakeholders, we aim to network with authorities on conservation issues, involve communities in fishing gear management and responsible fishing, spread awareness of the land/ocean connection, and protect all endangered marine species and their habitat. Education and creating awareness at the community level has been the cornerstone of the conservation program. Community acceptance and involvement has undoubtedly been the single most important factor in the success of our conservation program, protecting nesting turtles, rescuing and releasing turtles entangled in fishing nets, rehabilitating injured turtles and releasing over 9,00,000 hatchlings into the sea. As a community resource for more than 14 years, TREE Foundation has gained the credibility to bring about positive change in attitudes regarding the use of ocean resources
Fund Utilisation Statement
To strengthen and provide alternative income to marginalized artisanal fishermen involved in the ongoing community based sea turtle conservation and continue to spread awareness on sustainable fishing practices to communities along India’s east coast.