SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Engaging Sal's communities in turtle conservation/Engajamento de Communidades en Conservação das Tartarugas Marinhas

Conservation can benefit communities as well as the target species and one of the aims of SOS Tartarugas is to demonstrate how this can happen. Ultimately the aim is for communities to protect their own marine resources including turtles and to reap the benefits that this might bring.

After three years of concentrating on direct protection of nesting turtles the project enters a new phase, focusing to how to engage the community in conservation activities.
Residents of Algodoeiro discuss turtle conservation

The first step was to try to understand the barriers to people caring and becoming involved in conservation and so INDP were commissioned to undertake a study which involved discussions with fishing communities, businesses & the general population here on Sal.

Thankfully the majority of people were aware that it was against the law to harm or disturb turtles, but most did not see any benefit to participating in their protection although they recognised that this was an important thing to do.  They simply did not see it as anything to do with them.
Talking to the fishing community at Pedra de Lume
Changing this perception is going to be a long-term project and the first steps will be to begin a pilot scheme with one of our coastal communities to demonstrate that protecting turtles and the environment is worthwhile for so many reasons.

The full report can be downloaded here in Portuguese and here in English.

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