The Lakshadweep Archipelago lies in the Arabian Sea, about 200 miles off the west coast of India. Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory of India, with a population of approximately 60,000 people inhabiting 11 of the 36 islands.
Kavaratti is the capital and the most centrally located island in the archipelago. It has a land area of approximately 4.22 square kilometers and a permanent population of about 10,000. Human activity severely threatens its reefs and lagoons. Increased lagoon fishing, waste release to lagoons, and increasing tourism are all damaging the ecosystem.
Lakshadweep Marine Research and Conservation Centre (LMRCC) is a local organization committed to conservation and sustainable development of the area’a coral reef ecosystems. LMRCC has requested support from Seacology to construct an environmental education center. In exchange, the community will set aside 500 acres of Kayaratti Lagoon as a reserve. They will protect marine species there for a minimum of 10 years.