AARDE Pulicat Interpretation Centre






East Africa – Central Asia flyway


WLI Asia-Oceania


Name of organisation

Art & Architecture Research Development Education Foundation

Funding support

Empowered through sales of Traditional Palm Leaf Handicraft products

Number of staff


Number of visitors per year


Overall aims of the centre

To Promote and Conserve the second largest wetland in India, Pulicat Lagoon

Description of the centre

PULICAT LAGOON is the second largest wetland (Coastal Lagoon) in India covering an area of 759 sq.km. Located on the north of Chennai city at 55th km.

We maintain an Interpretation Centre, since 2010, creating awareness and sensitizing inhabitants and city dwellers through various activities throughout the year.

We celebrate the annual World Wetlands Day with various activities including the traditional-catamaram race for lagoon-fishermen, children ecology quiz, folklores, and traditional games for women.

Empowering more than one hundred and twenty women through Palm Leaf Handicrafts since 2009. This has been creating direct community engagement and environmental awareness.

Engaged in research and publishing research articles in international and national journals.

Member of UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign, and member of GNDR.

Save Pulicat to Save Chennai is our campaign.

Work Areas

Main CEPA work area

  • Managing Interpretation Centre.
  • Encouraging Nature-Base-Economy through palm-leaf handicraft, empowering 3 villages.
  • Regularly publishing awareness articles in leading national newspapers.
  • Research and publishing articles.

Top three successes


  • Reorganization of work at World Expo 2012.
  • Empanelled by Government of India to promote and improvise Palm Leaf Handicraft through self-help-women groups until 2024.

Top three challenges

  • Government Policies to protect Pulicat Lagoon is lacking - that is creating huge hurdle for our activities.
  • The wetlands is shared by two states of India, with different language, hence reaching grassroots levels in the neighbouring state is a hurdle.
  • Funding is the major issue.


Interpretation techniques

Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Running a visitor centre


Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers

Education and communication

Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials




Website address: www.aarde.in

Name: Mr. Xavier Benedict
Founder Trustee (member of IUCN-CEM South Asia, ICOMOS-India)

email: xbenedict@aarde.in

Tel: +91-9884013409

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