Lang Tengah Turtle Watch
LTTW was born in 2013 out of a collaboration between its two founders, WWF conservation specialists and officials from the Terengganu state government in the northeast of Peninsula Malaysia, just south of the Thai border. Since then, they’ve been joined by over 500 volunteers from more than 20 nations. They’ve prevented tens of thousands of turtle eggs being sold to the market, in a state where it’s still legal to trade and eat the eggs, despite a dramatic decline in the population of green turtles and the annihilation of local leatherbacks – despite once hosting the seventh largest leatherback populations in the world.
Why is LeaderSpace focusing on turtles, rather than other animals or environmental causes? We’re not, and this isn’t the only way we’re taking action on sustainability. Turtles are like the canaries of the sea. The health of individuals and turtle populations as a whole gives a good indication of the quality of marine ecosystems, respect for the natural world and attitudes to sustainability. Turtles are a great icon, too; a mascot, a rallying point for taking a more responsible approach to the world we live in.
Lang Tengah Turtle Watch doesn’t just save eggs from poachers. It hauls plastic out of the sea and off of Malaysia’s beaches. It protects local coral and even regrows sections of reef. It lobbies local institutions, seeks to change people’s habits and mind-sets and runs programmes in schools aimed at helping future generations to live more responsibly and sustainably. Importantly, it was founded locally, so it’s not some Western project seeking to impose foreign values on people who’re too busy struggling to make ends meet to invest in broader, longer-term considerations like sustainability and climate change.
What are we doing? We sponsor local volunteers who couldn’t otherwise afford to leave home, travel to the island and live in the camp for a fortnight or more. The project attracts volunteers from all over the world, but it’s the ones that come from the local communities that will have the greatest impact on local attitudes and behaviours when they head back home and share their stories.
What can you do? You could talk to us or you could visit their website and adopt a nest, sponsor some other activity or maybe even volunteer for a week or two. We promise: it’ll be a ‘holiday’ you’ll never forget.
The Sherpa Challenge: watch the movie; get involved; spread the word
Inspired by Alex Shirley of Sydney’s PrimalFit, Dean and Richard took the “Sherpa Challenge”, carrying participants in a leadership development programme to help raise funds to support the people of Nepal. Watch them making fools of themselves in one of the videos below, then decide how you’ll get involved by taking your own Sherpa Challenge…
Alex advises anyone participating to warm up properly, maintain good posture throughout the challenge and “switch on their core”. You should also opt to be carried if you find yourself nominated and suffer with back problems. If you’re interested in learning more about PrimalFit, you’ll find them here.
To learn more about the impact we're having in our 'day jobs', click here. Alternatively, if you'd like to help us make the world a better place, please get in touch by email via firstname.lastname@example.org.