by Shailendra Singh on May 07, 2010

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Patricia Koval (TSA Board of Directors and WWF-Canada Chair) recently inaugurated the newly built John Thorbjarnarson Memorial Chambal Conservation Centre in Etawah, India. John was a highly regarded crocodilian biologist, who also made his mark in chelonian conservation. He passed away on February 14, leaving a great void in the conservation community.

The new educational facility is located at the Turtle Conservation Centre, along the National Chambal (River) Sanctuary. The landmark event was held on on April 22, to celebrate both World Earth Day and the establishment day of Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF).


 
The Chambal Conservation (Education & Interpretation) Centre has been developed under the Turtle Survival Alliance – Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (TSA-MCBT) Indian Turtle Conservation Program and was generously funded by DWCF and the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF). The centre aims to create awareness among the local communities and other stakeholders regarding the conservation of  regional threatened freshwater turtles, gharial and other aquatic wildlife through a range of education and training programs in future.

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The inauguration program included a Chambal prayer by community members, a conservation skit by local kids and a reception hosted by the center for local community members. Mrs. Koval also inaugurated the Green Headstarting Turtle Rearing Facility at the Turtle Centre by releasing a group of four-year-old Batagur kachuga turtles into the pond. This facility was partly funded by the TCF, Beneficia Foundation, DWCF, Worldwide Fund for Nature – Canada and the World Wildlife Fund.