IN GUINEA BISSAU
Guinea-Bissau, and particularly the Bijagos Archipelago, is one of West Africa's most important sites for sea turtles. Here are found four species of sea turtles, Chelonia mydas (green), Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley), Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill) and Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback), all considered world-threatened species protected by law in Guinea-Bissau.
The Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP) was created in 2004 by the government of Guinea Bissau and has the mission of managing protected areas and strategic resources of biodiversity, valuing scientific and traditional knowledge. IBAP, with the support of a number of national and international partners, already has a long history of sea turtle conservation and has been very successful in its mission to protect and monitor sea turtles, one of Guinea Bissau's priorities.
has been very successful in its mission to protect and monitor sea turtles
In 2018, PROGRAMA TATÔ started an important partnership, supporting IBAP and its national partners in the implementation of a project funded by the Mava Foundation. For three years we will contribute to the consolidation of the conservation of sea turtles in the Bijagos Archipelago, we will share experiences through exchange trips to different projects in São Tomé, Brazil and Cape Verde, contributing to capacity building of Guinean actors in marine turtle conservation techniques and environmental awareness and education strategies, and to contribute to the development of environmental communication tools to raise awareness of the conservation of sea turtles.
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During three years we will contribute for the consolidation of the conservation of sea turtles in the Bijagos Archipelago
Of the six protected areas in Guinea-Bissau, two are especially important for sea turtles, the João Vieira and Poilão Marine National Park (JVPMNP) and the Orango National Park (ONP), with important nesting beaches, feeding and reproduction. Only in the small island of Poilão, in the year 2014 were estimated more than 40,000 nests of green turtle, this being one of the largest nesting sites in the world and the most important on the African continent. An important number of green turtles also nest in the Orango National Park, demonstrating the importance of the archipelago for this species. Smaller numbers of olive ridley, leatherback and hawksbill turtles also nest in the Bijagos Archipelago.