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Madras Crocodile Bank Trust & Centre for Herpetology (Croc Bank)
IRTA 2017 Silver Winner, Best Contribution to Wildlife Conservation
Snakes and reptiles have traditionally been killed on sight. The Croc Bank consists of a large reptile park near Chennai and several field projects run by the Trust all designed to conserve reptiles and amphibians including crocodiles and snakes. The reptile park functions as a zoo, spread over eight and a half acres of land, with over 2500 reptiles, it has close to half a million visitors/year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions on the East Coast Road. The work of the Trust is largely funded by revenues from their zoo, the zoo furthers the Trust’s awareness and behaviour change work through education delivered throughout the zoo – this is conservation funded by a tourist attraction.
IRTA 2018 Silver Winner, Best Outdoor Operator
Quest promote activities using non-motorised power: paddle, pedal or wind. They have five activity centres along the coast reducing the local dependency on fishing by providing employment in water sports and hospitality. They employ elderly gardeners to provide them with a livelihood. This Award is for their sea kayaking Paddle for the Environment experience. With core values of environmental and social responsibility Quest employs eight underprivileged boys from the Don Bosco Shelter Home for orphans and street kids as guides, they teach local children kayaking and give life-guard and snorkelling training to local fishermen to help them find work in tourism, they employ and source locally offering low-impact non-motorised adventure activities. They use solar power to heat water, no bottled water, they use filtered water. All the guides are trained and certified life guards. They have worked with local villagers to clean the beaches.