Sea Turtles - Their future is in your hands
Main language: English
Available subtitles : French, English and Spanish
Length: 16 min
With the participation of: Shannon Sutherland, Rosi Lima & Joana Peres
Film Locations: Sal & Santa Maria
Released on October 24 2019
The beautiful beaches of Sal on Cape Verde are known for being one of the most important sea turtle nesting sites in the world. However, these iconic animals must share this site with the increasingly problematic growth of mass tourism.
The development of infrastructures on beaches and sand dunes is harmful to the breeding of animals who already face threats such as plastic and light pollution. It not only endangers their survival but also threatens the island’s overall biodiversity… not to mention the effect it has on the island’s population.
Conscious of the threat looming over this special place, the organisation « Project Biodiversity » is trying to reverse this trend. The organisation wants environmental protection and the growth of tourism to develop together in a responsible way that will benefit everyone.
However, most importantly, they remind us of the influence our choices of activity and patterns of consumption.
« The hatchery primarily serves as a conservation tool but in addition to that it also doubles as a great way to raise awareness amongst people. »
« Tourism is a big part of the problem because 60% of the trash produced in Sal come from the hotels but it can be big part of the solutions too »
« First of all we decided to replace all the plastic straws for bamboo straws »
« We always try to encourage tourists to find the most sustainable way to enjoy the wildlife and the ecosystem on the island. »
Why this video report?
While we were crossing the Atlantic on our first trip to the archipelago, we were shocked by the contrast between the very natural and preserved islands of Cape Verde and the nature of the tourism being developed.
One clear example of this is the town of Santa Maria on the island of Sal. Here, the importance of biodiversity coexists with the negative impact of the tourism industry.
While this place is of particular importance because of its Loggerhead Sea Turtles, it is equally a focal point for businesses keen on white-sand beaches.
The environment is faced with an increasing amount of pressure from the building hotels on beaches, substantial waste production and by vehicles and inappropriate excursions damaging the sand dunes. It is a particular concern because this type of tourism primarily benefits large foreign firms and impacts the social dynamic between the locals and visitors.
Fortunately, we have met with the « Project Biodiversity » organisation who have done an outstanding job of preserving the biodiversity of the island, starting with the turtles!
In our view, their strategies of raising awareness are essential for the different stakeholders to understand the significance of the issue and the options that are available to them.
The growth in tourism does not have to conflict with environmental protection, provided that it is carried out sensitively and responsibly.
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