Conservation benefit: Protection of a 1,433-acre mangrove forest and estuarine land for 10 years
Community benefit: Crafts and women’s center
Middle Andaman Island, in the Bay of Bengal between India and Myanmar, is remote and beautiful. Unfortunately, unsustainable use of natural resources there threatens the environment.
Seacology is working with the Karen community, who are known for their rich traditional knowledge of the forests and seas. But they have limited job opportunities on the island. The Andaman and Nicobar Environment Team (ANET) has helped the Karen community by forming a women’s self-help group called Andaman Karen Crafts (AKC). ANET has arranged for alternative livelihood skills training in carpentry, tailoring, embroidery, mushroom cultivation, and raising forest nurseries. The women’s group has begun producing tailoring and needlecraft products for the tourism industry. It will sell these products through handicraft stores, hotels, and resorts in the Andaman Islands.
The AKC is located in Webi Village, near a protected mangrove forest. The forest supports a large number of mangrove and animal species, including more than 20 species of endemic birds, threatened saltwater crocodiles, and water monitor lizards. Seacology is funding the construction of a building where women can make and sell handicrafts. In return, the AKC will protect and conserve 1,433 acres of mangrove and estuarine habitat. It will also host environmental education programs for the Karen villages.
- May 2019
- The restaurant is in operation, and is being run as a cooperative. In addition to building business skills and generating income, this venture is connecting people to traditional cuisine. It...
- December 2018
- A storeroom and office have been built, and significant progress has been made on restaurant construction. Village women have already provided meals for a group of 70 people passing through the...
- May 2018
- With some extra funds, the community has bought a LCD projector and screen, to make presentations that promote environmental awareness. Fixtures for a restaurant have been ordered, and the...
- May 2017
- The building has been finished, and the community’s women are delighted to have a place of their own to meet, work, and hold programs. They have conducted training in how to use a traditional...
- January 2017
- Construction of the building is almost finished.
- May 2016
- Construction of the building was held up for a few months due to monsoon rains, delay in getting Revenue Department approval to change the land’s designation from agricultural to commercial, and...
- October 2015
- The foundation for the structure is complete, and wood has been ordered, but construction couldn't be finished before the monsoons began, and should start again in November. It is expected to be...
- May 2015
- India Field Representative Vineeta Hoon visited the project site in March 2015 and met with members of the Andaman Karen Crafts group and carpenters, who showed her the land on which the building...
- January 2015
- After a community meeting, a team of local artisan carpenters and builders was formed. They explored design and ecological building techniques, and are now in the process of acquiring all the...