From extreme right- Anup Bokassa (THT- Lead, On ground Programs), Simi Suri (CSR Head, HCL Foundation), Rushikesh Chavan (Head- THT) and VAdm Sandeep Naithani (Chief of Material)


The Habitats Trust and Indian Navy organise programmes at Indian Naval Bases in Karwar, Kochi and Mumbai for World Environment Day and World Oceans Day

These events are in continuation of the MoU signed between The Habitats Trust, HCL Foundation and Indian Navy to assist in rejuvenating India’s coastal ecosystems and securing endangered indigenous species and their habitats.

New Delhi, India: The Habitats Trust and Indian Navy have organised eight events in three naval bases: Karwar, Mumbai and Kochi to commemorate World Environment Day (June 05) and World Oceans Day (June 08). These events are in continuation of the MoU signed between The Habitats Trust, HCL Foundation and Indian Navy to assist in rejuvenating India’s coastal ecosystems and securing endangered indigenous species and their habitats.

The details of the events are:

  • June 05, Karwar (World Environment Day): A natural history walk focussed on birds organised at the Karwar Naval Base for the Navy officials and their families, led by Maxim Rodrigues K from The Habitats Trust’s On-Ground Initiatives team.
  • June 05, Karwar (World Environment Day): A talk on ‘Solutions to Plastic Pollution’ was held at the Karwar Naval Base by Abhishek Jamalabad, Lead, Marine Programme and Mr. Rodrigues. The talk highlighted the various aspects of plastic pollution, including its sources, components, impact on marine life, detection methods, and plastic accumulation zones in India.
  • June 06, Karwar: A session on marine mammals of India, their significance, and work planned by The Habitats Trust and the Indian Navy to study lesser-known marine mammal species across Indian waters was held by Mr. Jamalabad at the Karwar Naval Base for Indian Navy officials and their families.
  • June 07, Mumbai: At the Mumbai Naval Base, a talk was organised on the little known but rich intertidal marine life of Mumbai, including information about the many species found here and how people across the board have grown engrossed in documenting it over the past few years. The talk was led by Sejal Mehta, Lead, Communications and Outreach at The Habitats Trust, Farai Patel, Executive, Marine Programme at The Habitats Trust and Gaurav Patil from Coastal Conservation Foundation.
  • June 07, Karwar: A talk on marine life in the little-known intertidal habitats of India, with an emphasis on the ecological value of this habitat and how everyone can engage with it, was organised for Indian Navy officials and their families at the Karwar Naval Base. This talk was led by Mr. Jamalabad.
  • June 08, Kochi (World Oceans Day): Dr. Robin Abraham, Lead, Eco-Restoration programme at the Habitats Trust, led a talk on putting a context to the west coast: conservation issues and the role of Indian Navy and the partnership with The Habitats Trust in tackling these challenges at the Kochi Naval Base.
  • June 08, Mumbai (World Oceans Day): A seashore walk inside the premises of the Mumbai Naval Base for the officials and families of the Indian Navy was organised by The Habitats Trust, and assisted by Gaurav Patil from Coastal Conservation Foundation and marine biologist Harshal Karve.
  • June 08, Karwar (World Oceans Day): A walk in the intertidal areas of Karwar Naval Base for Indian Navy officials and their families was led by Mr. Jamalabad, which took a close look at some of the corals and reef fish that call these habitats home.

These events are in continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by The Habitats Trust, HCL Foundation and the Indian Navy in March 2023 in an effort to strengthen their contribution towards conserving marine ecology. As part of the partnership, all three contributors will work together to secure India’s coastal, oceanic and island habitats and species, and work with the Navy Welfare & Wellness Association (NWWA) and regional Naval Bases to engage in impactful local-level conservation work.

With this partnership, The Habitats Trust alongside HCL has committed to providing technical expertise and R&D under the supervision of the Navy in sustained biodiversity conservation action for important objectives. One of these is identification of areas of plastic accumulation in open seas and retrieving plastics and ghost nets in maritime waters. Ghost nets pose a significant ecological threat to the marine ecosystem as they lead to stranding, strangulation, drowning and starvation of marine fauna and flora.

The collaboration will also work together for collection of data of biological origin. The Habitats Trust will make science-based recommendations to lower the ecological footprint of the Indian Navy and formulate potential mitigation and restoration measures wherever required at the Naval Bases.

About The Habitats Trust

The Habitats Trust (THT) was established in 2018 by Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCL Technologies and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation and Shikhar Malhotra, Director, HCL Corporation and Trustee, The Habitats Trust. The Trust focuses on human well-being through maintaining ecological functioning, with special focus on the conservation of lesser-known species and habitats that are threatened, but often neglected and are in urgent need of conservation attention.

THT works in 19 states and union territories across India. Its major areas of work are conservation of critical habitats such as low-lying rainforests, lateritic outcrops, grasslands, wetlands, and coral reefs and critically endangered species such as Bengal Florican, Great Indian Bustard, and Pygmy Hog whose wild populations are less than 200. THT is now also focusing on securing critical habitats and restoring degraded ecosystems. THT is headed by Rushikesh Chavan, a conservationist with over 20 years of experience in conservation of ecosystems and species. He works closely with the leadership to translate the vision to on-ground action and meaningful impact.

HCL Foundation

HCL Foundation (HCLF) was established in 2011 as the CSR arm of HCL Technologies. It is a not-for-profit organization that strives to contribute toward national and international development goals, bringing about a lasting positive impact on people’s lives through long-term sustainable programs. The foundation aims to alleviate poverty and achieve inclusive growth and development. Active community engagement ensures optimal long-term gains and upward accountability. HCL Foundation works through Life Cycle Based, Integrated Community Development Approach with a thematic focus on Education, Health, Skill Development & Livelihood, Environment, and Disaster Risk Reduction & Response. Child protective strategies, inclusion, and gender transformative approaches remain central in all initiatives of the HCL Foundation, thus ensuring comprehensive development. Presently HCL Foundation is implementing five flagship programs, namely HCL Samuday & HCL Grant – Rural Development programs; HCL Uday & Clean Noida – Urban Development programs; HCL Harit (The Green Initiative) – Environment Action program and four special initiatives – Power of One, Sports for Change, HCL Foundation Academy and My E-Haat.

About the MoU

The MoU between The Habitats Trust, the Indian Navy and HCL was signed by Rear Admiral K Srinivas, Asst Chief of Materiel (Dockyards & Refits), Indian Navy, Mr. Rushikesh Chavan, Head, The Habitats Trust, and Dr. Nidhi Pundhir, VP Global CSR, HCL Foundation in the presence of Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, Chief of Materiel, and will be in effect for five years.



The Habitats Trust & Indian Navy: Rejuvenating India’s coastal ecosystems