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Non-Profit Spotlight: ANET protects the Andaman Islands in India

When it comes to the world’s delicate ecosystems we, to borrow a turn of phrase from the folk singer Joni Mitchell, often don’t know what we’ve got ‘til it’s gone. We humans have a tendency to poop where we eat, in the process spoiling our immediate environment. There is, after all, a reason why French writer François René Chateaubriand, is quoted as having said that “Forest precedes Man and desert follows him."

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The Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a chain of  five hundred plus islands nestled in the Bay of Bengal some 100 miles of north of Indonesia, are perfectly positioned to be yet another cautionary tale of the negative effects of humans can have on their environment. The islands, officially a Union Territory of India, are a lush tropical paradise beautifully positioned for environmental exploitation. Their unique structure, the islands are part of an underwater mountain chain with the each island representing a point in which a mountain rises above the water’s surface, creates a diverse array of ecosystems. The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are home to dazzling coral reefs, lush mangrove forests, hill top forests, and a breeding ground for that most noble of sea creature – the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle.

And yet, The Andaman & Nicobar Islands remain, on the whole, not only intact but, thanks to the work of the conservation organization ANET (short for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team ), they are also a living, breathing laboratory, which balances the scientific desire to understand the islands’ biological diversity while also actively contributing towards the islands conservation through education, research and the development of sustainable resource use.

In short, ANET, strives to figure out how to maintain the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, status as an intact ecosystem, while also balancing it with human habitation.  With time, it can grow into a blueprint  as to how humans can live not only in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, but around the world.

How to Volunteer with ANET

Volunteers can join existing research projects, or those with more technical backgrounds can reach out and volunteer their own projects. Interns can even put together self-supporting projects based on their own interests and ANET’s needs. Sure, anyone can say they went on vacation to India, but by volunteering with ANET you get to say you helped save the world.

Now wouldn’t you want to lend a hand?

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