Haseena and Tajunnisa

Young Naturalists (2008)

In their 20s, both Haseena and Tajunnisa are part of the BNHS’ Project Clam Marine Protected Area training programme. Concerned that the islanders would face a bleak future if their ecological heritage was ruined, both girls became key community facilitators who undertook the challenge of winning the support of their community for marine conservation. They went from home to home to collect baseline data on natural resource use and the socio-economic status of households. Through open forum community meetings and consultations, they won the unanimous approval of the conservative community, which now wholeheartedly supports the Agatti Conservation Reserve. Their determined work has helped secure the long-term future of the natural resources of the fragile islands upon which their families depend. By bringing the benefits and the knowledge of marine science to their own people through Womens’ Self Help Groups, they have served to protect marine ecosystems in the Lakshadweep Islands.