Turtle Bags

Turtle Bags The profits made by Turtle Bags support Rekawa, a tiny rural village on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, which is an important nesting ground for five of the world's seven species of endangered marine turtle. These turtles and their habitats used to provide the villagers with an important part of their income yet the population of turtles is likely to have been destroyed if these practices continued. Before the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) arrived at Rekawa in 1993, all of the turtle eggs laid there were collected and sold for food by Rekawa village men. Village women earned additional income by harvesting the local coral reefs to burn for lime, which was then sold to the construction industry. The TCP now employs former village egg collectors as nest protectors and supports a number of village collectives developing more sustainable sources of income for the project, including a small turtle-watch programme targeting tourists staying in local hotels. However the effect of the tsunami in 2004 and political disturbance in 2006 led to a crash in the numbers of tourists, so the success of the collective is vital to the income of the project and the villagers involved.

Photo of the textile Collective in Rekawa, Sri Lanka