PROGRAMA TATÔ

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.

 

chelonia mydas

( Verde )

lepidochelys olivacea

( Oliva )

Eretmochelys imbricata

( Escamas )

dermocehlys coriacea

( Couro )

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.

IBAP, (...)

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.

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.

Follow our activities developed in Guinea Bissau through our Facebook page, Instagram and through our Newsletter.

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The communication and environmental education are essential strategies for IPAB and its partners involved in this process, Palmeirinha and Programa Tatô, not only because it allows to create a better relationship and confidence level with the local communities, but also because it contributes for raising awareness through the knowledge of the coastal communities of Guinea Bissau, about the ecologic and socioeconomic value of sea turtles and the benefits of its conservation.

During three years we will contribute for the consolidation of the conservation of sea turtles in the Bijagos Archipelago

We work together to develop several innovative activities of awareness and environmental education, in areas with high levels of poaching, with the goal of informing the local communities and artisanal fishermen about the threats and risk of extinction of these species. Therefore, in a long term, we can strength and improve the status of conservation of sea turtles in critical nesting and feeding areas on this region.

Some activities include the “cinema-debate”, where movies about the conservation of sea turtles are displayed in the local villages, a travelling exhibition about the sea turtles of Guinea Bissau, and a communication national campaign “Nô Okinka di Mar” (Sea Turtle, our queen of the sea) launched in the World Sea Turtle Day (June, 16th of 2019) and celebrated with a student parade, with the participation of six school of Bissau.

PARTICIPATE

There are several ways to participate in this Program and to support the conservation of sea turtles and marine and coastal ecosystems.