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Susan Lakhan  

Areas of Environmental Action:

Education 

Summary of Achievements:

Susan Lakhan represents Nature Seekers Incorporated (NSI), a group which patrols Matura Beach on the east coast of Trinidad, West Indies, to protect endangered leatherback sea turtles.

NSI was formed in 1990 as a result of the extensive slaughtering of the leatherback turtle at one of this species' most important nesting beaches in the Western Atlantic region, Matura Beach. Coined at a meeting held on the banks of the Matura River, the name Nature Seekers Incorporated defines and embodies the spirit and enthusiasm of a group of men and women dedicated to the conservation of the natural resources of Matura Village, Trinidad.

The story of NSI from its inception in 1990 to the present is one of remarkable dedication and commitment to purpose. Their members patrol the beach earning $50 per night. The aim of the group is to promote appreciation and awareness of the natural resources within the community, as well as to promote total education in environmental conservation and to seek opportunities for development in environmental education.

Susan Lakhan has been recognized for her "outstanding work" in the field of conservation, work that involves all-night seasonal surveillance of the nesting beach and not uncommonly brings her and her group threats of personal violence from potential poachers.

Data collected by the Government of Trinidad suggest that 50-75 leatherbacks were killed each year in the 1980s (many for only a few pounds of shoulder meat) - a number likely to represent a majority of the females nesting.

Susan Lakhan is the recipient of a UNEP Global 500 Award (1993).
 

Contact

Susan Lakhan
Matura Post Office
Toco Main Road
Matura
'Trinidad and Tobago '

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