Nature Seekers

Day Trips in Matura, Trinidad and Tobago

Nature Seekers is a community based non-profit that focuses on protecting the environment in Matura, Trinidad and Tobago. The community is the nucleus of the leadership and management of this conservation project. Although they started out as a sea turtle conservation group, they now work on other projects that protect the environment and benefit the local community.

Right for You?

Experience

Wildlife Viewing, Hiking and Kayaking

Style

Connect with Nature and Active Adventure

Price

Mid-range

Location

River, Beach, Mountains and Rainforest

Connect with Nature Seekers

Locally Owned Nonprofit
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Speaks: English

Why Lokal Recommends Nature Seekers

Background

Nonprofit started in 1990| Locally Owned with 95% local staff

A Unique Story

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, the high slaughter rates of egg-bearing females created sufficient national concern to designate the nesting beach a Prohibited Area. As a result, the Wildlife Section of the Forestry Division engaged the Matura community in consultation in finding a solution to this national problem. With training from the Forestry Division, participants decided to stay together to form a nature-based group. This group was named Nature Seekers. Nature Seekers was trusted with the responsibility to provide regular patrols to protect the turtles and to ensure they nested successfully. When this project began in 1990 there was no monetary gain and members of Nature Seekers functioned on a voluntary basis. This was done because it was difficult for them to obtain funding for a project people thought would never succeed. This was the time when Nature Seekers’ fundraising effort started developing. The government was so motivated by the efforts of the community that they commissioned the group members to perform beach patrols and to provide a tour guide service to visitors who purchased permits to visit Matura Beach during the nesting season.

Community Connection

Nature Seekers has started two initiatives that are geared towards providing employment to women and single mothers in the community. One of their initiatives is a glass recycling project where memebers of the community are trained in the art of flameworking, making glass beads by hand. The glass they use for this project was waste that was removed from the turtle nesting beaaches during beach clean-ups. Once they make the beads, they then use the beads to create jewelry,bowls, coasters, and paper weights. This project provides the community with a sustainable source of income. In their second initiative the community members gather natural materials to create jewelry. They use materials such as recycled glass beads, woods, seeds, coconuts and shells.
They also support the Community Youth Environment Leadership where they help young leaders lead more effectively to the benefit of the environment. They provide selected young people with essential knowledge and practical experience in vital skill areas. This highly engaging initiative will help youth develop and increase their leadership and participation skills, through educational awareness activities over a period of two years.

Environmental Engagement

Nature Seekers developed the Matura Development Initiative of Awareness, Management and Eco Tourism for Natural Resource Conservation project to educate the community about environmental issues affecting the area and creating sustainable methods to prevent these issues. It is the intent of this project to protect Matura's natural resources and environment while creating opportunities for capacity building and employment opportunities for local residents. By developing tourism in the community, their goal is to use it as a tool for the conservation of the environment.
Nature Seekers has also developed a reforestation project in Matura. Over 8-10% of the national forest is privately owned. Based on this, they believe that private land owners havea role to play in creating a healthy forest that would sustain their nation's needs. They focus on encouraging land owners within important watersheds in the area. This effort will focus on four areas: clearing, reforestation, maintenance of these lands, and planting of fruit trees. This is another small business initiative to provide technical guidance labor for a fee from private land owners.

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