To ensure sustainability of sea turtle conservation in Guinea-Bissau, the Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP) has partnered up with national and international NGOs – Palmeirinha and Programa Tatô - to develop a comprehensive communication strategy, involving raising awareness of local stakeholders, general public, student community and decision makers.
Opening of sea turtle exhibition and children activities on World's sea turtle day
Communication and environmental education are fundamental strategies for the IBAP and its partners involved in this process, Palmeirinha and Programa Tatô. This helps to create strong and trustworthy relationships with the local communities, and contributes to the development of environmental awareness through the knowledge of Guinea-Bissau's coastal communities about the ecological and socioeconomic value of sea turtles and the benefits of their conservation.
Together we work to develop many innovative environmental education and awareness-raising activities, particularly in sites with where intentional and accidental capture are higher, to inform local communities and artisanal fishers of the threats and extinction risk of these species. This will strengthen and improve the long-term conservation status of sea turtles in critical nesting and feeding areas in the region.
Schools of Bissau parade on World sea turtle day
Some activities developed include the ‘cinema-debate’, in which movies on sea turtle conservation are shown in local villages and main messages are debated; an exhibition on sea turtles’ life-cycle, threats, conservation and research is touring in Guinea-Bissau; and a national awareness campaign 'Nô Okinka di Mar' - "Sea Turtle - Our Queen of the Sea" was released on the world sea turtle day (16 of June), and celebrated with a student parade, with the participation of 120 children from six schools of Bissau.
To further communicate the activities of the IBAP a series of micro-movies on sea turtle conservation were created, and a book on the João Vieira-Poilão Marine National Park will shortly be published.
Visits to communities living near sea turtle habitats