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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Monday, June 27, 2011

Assisting the community in Pedra de Lume

Last week SOS met members of the community association in Pedra de Lume in the second phase of a project to improve conditions for people living there.

Sr Jorge, association secretary takes notes as SOS discusses Palmeira community needs
The first phase, in 2010, was a period of consultation where communities living in Sal were invited to tell us what they thought about turtle conservation and whether they believed it was relevant and necessary.  Happily the vast majority believed that it was important to preserve nature and in particular the endangered and emblematic turtles that they view as part of the national patrimony.  However, few people could see why they should get involved and in what way this could happen.

The project in Pedra de Lume is a pilot to see whether the community can benefit from running and designing their own turtle conservation scheme.  It is a long-term goal of SOS Tartarugas to hand over the management of turtles to the population of Sal, since this is the only truly sustainable solution.

Next week members of the community will attend a workshop in Santa Maria where they will learn not only about turtle conservation and research techniques but also how to raise finance and how to conduct outreach and education activities.
Palmeira Association members, Claudio (far right) was chosen to lead the project and will attend next week's training workshop

Pedra de Lume is often bypassed as visitors drive through to visit the salinas ,so the community, with the help of SOS Tartarugas, will try to design an attraction such as a museum or visitor's centre to raise money that will benefit all residents.  SOS Tartarugas will also help the community to apply for grants.

An excellent example of this kind of programme can be seen in Cruzinha da Garça on Santo Antão, which began a conservation project in partnership with INDP & SOS Tartarugas.  After three years of hard work the community association received funding from the UN GEF Small Grants programme and went on to win the Equator Prize which "is designed to shine a spotlight on these leading grassroots efforts by celebrating them on an international stage."  You can read more information about the project here.  SOS Tartarugas also supports community projects on São Vicente, Fogo, São Nicolau, Maio & Santiago.

Rufina, from the fishing community of Cruzinha da Graça visits SOS Tartarugas to learn about hatchery management

We hope to help the community of Pedra de Lume to emulate these fantastic achievements while at the same time preserving Cabo Verde's heritage for generations to come.

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