Name of organisation: Action for Protection of Wild Animals(APOWA)
Funding support: Self Financing
Number of staff: 5
Overall aims of the centre
The objective of the center is to generate awareness about the value of the coastal and mangrove resources in the Bhitarkanika region. The center documents, compiles and disseminates information with regard to the conservation of the natural heritage and wildlife of the Bhitarkanika region. It facilitate and ensure strong community participation with a particular focus on involving school children, youth and the local community in its activities to strengthen, in a complementary manner, indigenous knowledge, practice in conservation and sustainable development.
Description of the centre
The centre is located at the entry point to the heart of Bhitarkanika National Park, the second largest mangrove wetlands of mainland India, harbours the highest diversity of Indian mangrove flora, the largest rookery of the endangered olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), in the world, the last of the three remaining population of salt-water crocodiles in India, the rare white crocodile, spotted dear, sambar, wild boar, one of the largest heronry along the Indian east coast, one of the highest concentration of migratory water fowl. Bhitarkanika is already designated as a Ramsar site.
The centre is campaigning to protect the fragile ecosystem of the mangrove, which is rainforests by the sea serving as a land-water interface. It is also engaged in conservation initiatives in the biologically rich Bhitarkanika mangroves. The centre have already involved in raising community led mangrove and other saplings and mangrove regeneration. It also promoting alternative livelihood programmes for dependant communities. Apart from mangrove education and outreach programmes are running by the centre.
Main CEPA work areas
The education, communication, community participation and awareness programme was launched at the beginning of the project and playing a large part in changing attitudes towards the region and also improved the conservation scenario in the region. This has been possible through commitment, dedication, cooperation and collaboration among several stakeholders participation. It also provides information and raises the profile of the Bhitarkanika mangrove ecosystem; explain the need for conservation action and present management. The centre also helps promote a better understanding of natural features, ecology, resources, human interactions, culture and history of the area.
Top three successes
Since most of the activities and planned strategies are community led, communities are playing a significant role in conservation and restoration of mangroves. Community led plantation and protection of mangroves ensure their ownership and sustain their association with mangroves.
Top three challenges
Poverty is the major challenges for mangrove conservation in this poor region of the world.
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat
Engaging young people; Engaging the local community;Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education;Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Fund-raising