Asia

Conservation of sea turtles and coastal habitats around Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort

Dr Ananda Mallawatantri, Country Representative of IUCN and Mr Ross Sanders General Manager of Anantara Peace Haven - Tangalle Resort signing the agreement to mark a new

Project title: Conservation of sea turtles and coastal habitats around Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort

Location: Tangalle to Yala (southern coast)

Duration: May 2017 to April 2020

Project Background:

Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas is a collection of luxury hotels across Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa. Anantara has a rigorous policy on operating sustainably and has initiated a number of sustainability projects as part of their Environmental and Corporate Social Responsibilities and beyond.

Approximately 19 Anantara resorts have been awarded Green Growth Certification, which includes criteria such as conserving biodiversity. Anantara has also launched a number of foundations, including the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation and the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation.

Anantara has partnered with IUCN Sri Lanka to implement a Marine Turtle Conservation and Enhancement project, with the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) as the government agency partner. Out of the seven species of marine turtles recorded around the world, five visit South Asian shores including Sri Lanka for the purpose of nesting. In addition to implementing methods to protect and conserve these globally threatened marine turtles, the project will educate local communities, hotel staff and guests on the importance of species conservation.

The conservation project is funded by the Anantara “Dollars for Deeds” programme, which engages guests in the spirit of giving back and matches each guest’s donation dollar for dollar to raise funds for worthy causes.
The proposed project will be implemented by IUCN for the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort in Sri Lanka. The Resort is located on a seascape and occupies an important interphase between the land and the sea. The beach front of the hotel property is also used by turtles as a nesting ground.

In order to protect turtles visiting the area for nesting purposes, raising awareness on marine turtle conservation among the general public and the community is vital. It is also important to enhance field level capacity of DWC to conduct in-situ conservation of marine turtles as the legal protection of marine turtles comes under the purview of this agency. The hotel is located on a highly human modified landscape. Therefore, this landscape can be rehabilitated by introducing native plant species that are present in natural coastal vegetation, recreating a natural coastal habitat that will attract native fauna that inhabits such habitats. Some of the project activities will extend beyond the hotel area too.

Objectives of the project:

  1.  Conduct in-situ conservation of marine turtles, and contribute towards conserving globally threatened species.
  2. Raise awareness on marine turtle conservation and enhance field level capacity of DWC to conduct in-situ conservation of marine turtles.
  3. Enhance the representation of native species of flora within the property and thereby establishing a typical coastal habitat that will provide habitat for native coastal species within the property.
  4. Build the capacity of the resort staff, guests and local community to effectively engage in conservation and sustainability initiatives launched by the hotel.
  5. Develop a programme similar to Dollars for Deeds in Thailand for Sri Lanka based on in-situ conservation of marine turtles in Sri Lanka.

Expected Outputs:

  • An established database on turtle nesting in the area
  • Turtle nest site management plan
  • Trained resort staff on turtle conservation and habitat restoration
  • Awareness material on marine turtles  (8 display panels and 5 turtle models) displayed at the Information    Corner of the DWC Beat Office in Rekawa
  • “Media wall” at the Resort  
  • Nest protection enclosures/cages (movable)
  • A landscape plan for the hotel premises that will help the transition towards a more natural coastal habitat
  • Establishment of nature trails within the property with interpretation boards and guides to enhance the visitor experience
  • Increased awareness for staff and guests on biodiversity issues
  • Dollars for Deeds programme for Anantara PH Resort Tangalle

Donor:  P.H. Resorts (Private) Limited

Partner: Department of Wildlife Conservation 

Press Release from Anantara Tangalle Resort: 

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