IN São tomé AND PrÍncipe
The Archipelago of São Tomé and Príncipe is an important breeding and feeding area for five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world, Chelonia mydas (green turtle), Lepidochelys olivacea (olive ridley), Eretmochelys imbricata (hawksbill), Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback) and Caretta caretta (loggerhead). Sea turtles have traditionally been captured for human consumption on the island of São Tomé, and unregulated capture and trade have affected the populations of these endangered species.
Thanks to the support of several technical and financial partners and the involvement of local communities, conservation and awareness-raising efforts have significantly reduced sea turtle consumption, changing behaviors, and consequently reversing the decline of sea turtle populations and improving the life conditions of members of coastal communities.
One of the greatest achievements of Programa Tatô has been the commitment of local communities
One of the greatest achievements of Programa Tatô in recent years has been the commitment of local communities, biologists and national technicians in the conservation of sea turtles, as well as law enforcement becoming increasingly efficient in the country thanks to the increasing involvement of coastal communities, guardians of sea turtles and conservation leaders on São Tomé island.
Nowadays, this conservation program develops its monitoring activities on 23 km of beach in São Tomé Island, 31 beaches in the north, east and south of the island, monitored daily during the nesting season from September to April. A team of more than 50 guards, trainees, field assistants and technicians guarantee the protection and monitoring of the females that nest on the island and of the turtles that feed in the waters off the island of São Tomé; develop awareness and education activities; develop activities to generate alternative livelihoods for coastal communities; and promote the sustainable development of marine and coastal ecosystems.
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