Our partner, Project Biodiverity, is helping us raise environmental awareness and supporting sustainable practices for tourism in Cabo Verde. Executive Director, Berta Renom, tells us more about their involvement and why they joined forces with us…
We are a non-profit organisation working in Cabo Verde to preserve and restore the island’s natural habitats through a wide range of environmental programmes. Based on the island of Sal, we implement community-based initiatives that promote conservation and scientific understanding of the island’s natural resources while increasing economic opportunities for the growing local community.
Cape Verde has experienced rapid tourism growth in the past decade, attracting holiday-makers to its beautiful sunny beaches and crystal-clear waters, but these beaches also happen to be the third largest nesting site for loggerhead turtles in the world and there’s other sensitive ecosystems too. Tourism has developed at such a fast pace that environmental considerations have been ignored and, until recently, there’s been very little collaboration to address sustainability issues.
Watch Albert, from Project Biodiversity, explaining why sea turtles need our help.
“I think its all about realizing that the state of our planet and the state of our oceans. Nowadays we know that everything is connected. And if one ecosystem fails, all the rest will come after. Seeing all this trash, all this plastic is just awful”.
We partnered with The Travel Foundation to help raise awareness among tour guides and tourists to the fragile biodiversity on these islands and show them how they can still enjoy wildlife excursions responsibly. For example, we designed signs giving information about the flora and fauna and advice to tourists on how they can reduce their environmental footprint while enjoying the beaches. We also worked together to create manual and training for tour guides which includes good practice for watching sea turtles, sharks, whales, and birds and ways to protect the sand dunes.
Collaboration is now taking place on the island and there is definitely a sense of collective action. We belong to the Destination Council which allows local organisations to work together and share perspectives. The Council has been working with the tourism sector in Sal to reduce its environmental footprint and with the government to provide training, support and official certification to local guides offering nature-based tours to ensure they can protect habitats and wildlife.
Our partnership with Travel foundation has been a natural synergy – we both have the shared objective of raising awareness of sustainability issues and promote innovative solutions. And our combined strengths in conservation, community engagement and project design has resulted in a strong programme of work. We are currently planning a new phase of work with the Travel Foundation and look forward to sharing our next steps very soon.
You can find out more about our Project Biodiversity work at projectbiodiveristy.org