• Sauvegarde des espèces menacées

Network structuring, capacity building of its actors and participation in the development of Marine Protected Areas in Central Africa

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Network structuring, capacity building of its actors and participation in the development of Marine Protected Areas in Central Africa

The coastal waters and sandy beaches of Central Africa are home to 5 species of sea turtles. Four of these five species are threatened, according to the IUCN Red List. In Central Africa, populations of marine turtles are subject to a wide variety of threats, such as nest collecting and hunting of laying females, incidental capture by artisanal and industrial fisheries, coastal development and pollution, etc. .

 

In each Central African country, initiatives from African civil society have developed to protect these species on the ground, mainly on nesting beaches and at sea turtle feeding grounds. Despite the conservation effort deployed, actions carried out without regional coordination, sometimes, lack consistency.  Some threats with supranational action can only be tackled effectively on a regional scale. There is also a strong need for training field teams and professionalization of NGO leaders.

 

RASTOMA, Network of Actors for the Safeguarding of Marine Turtles in Africa, was created in 2012 to meet these needs for exchanges, coordination of conservation efforts and capacity building of actors in the conservation of marine turtles in Central Africa.  The network was created on the initiative of the field actors themselves and during the first phase from 2012 to 2013, the marine turtle conservation NGOs exchanged information and thus strengthened their interactions.

 

Rastoma took a second step in February 2015, thanks to support from the PPI, when leaders of marine turtle conservation NGOs in Central Africa and field researchers met in Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo. The members of the network – 8 NGOs and 12 individuals covering 5 Central African countries – established an action plan for the first year revolving around 3 priorities: structuring of the RASTOMA network; training and capacity building for stakeholders; the promotion of Marine Protected Areas. This project consists of the implementation of this action plan by the members of Rastoma.