The Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) is an independent Sri Lankan environmental NGO which was established in 1993 and in March 1995 registered under the Central Environmental authority (CEA). The TCP operates according to an approved constitution and is currently coordinated by a committee of five residents of Sri Lanka. TCP aims to devise and facilitate the implementation of sustainable marine turtle conservation strategies through education, research and community participation and assisting government departments, academic institutions and other NGOs.
TCP’s Vision & Mission
Vision: “Sustainable level for sea turtle populations in Sri Lanka”
Mission: “conduct research, surveys, education & awareness programmes, community based conservation and management programmes to achieve the sustainable level of sea turtle populations in Sri Lanka”.
TCP maintains its head office in Panadura and implements field conservation activities in Rekawa, Kosgoda and Kalpitiya areas. TCP employs well trained staff for its field conservation activities and since 1993 employed more than 100 community members in various conservation initiatives.
In recognition of TCP’s conservation efforts, TCP received the ‘highly commended’ award from British Airways ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ in 1998. In 2008, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) awarded TCP the ‘Conservation Award (finalist)’. In January 2008, Rekawa beach was named as one of the ‘Top 10 Eco Friendly Destination in the World’ by the online travel community IgoUgo, owned by Travelocity. The list was based on recommendations from IgoUgo editors who reviewed the journals by some of its 350,000 members with comments by the travellers listed. In addition, TCP received another ‘highly commended’ award from the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism in 2008. Further, the ministry of Environment and Natural Resources awarded TCP the ‘Green Employment award’ in year 2009. In 2010, The International Sea Turtle Society awarded TCP ‘’ Champions Award’’. In 2013, Mr. Thushan Kapurusinghe’s profile was highlighted in the ‘’Top 10 of Asia’’ magazine for achieving the conservation goals in Rekawa turtle sanctuary.
Who leads the TCP?
Mr. Thushan Kapurusinghe, Project Leader and co-founder of TCP started his wildlife carrier in 1985 and received his academic training from the Open University of Sri Lanka and the Duke University Marine Laboratory in North Carolina, USA. He is a marine turtle specialist who is a member of the IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialists Group (MTSG). He has extensive working experience in marine and coastal resource management with community participation in Sri Lanka. He also worked as the coordinator of the tsunami recovery programme which was implemented by the UNDP GEF SGP Sri Lanka between 2005 and 2007. Further, he worked as the Programme Development Officer (UNV) for the Disaster Management Unit of UNDP Sri Lanka in 2010. Mr Kapurusinghe has extensive experience in turtle conservation, mangrove restoration, sand dune restoration, exotic fish breeding, nature tourism etc. with community participation. TCP leader completed his MSc in Conservation & Tourism at Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent at Canterbury in United Kingdom. His main interests are community based ecosystem conservation, diversification of community livelihoods, protected area co-management strategies and sustainability of community based projects.