For World Sea Turtle Day, celebrated on June 16, the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND) participated in an event organized by the Consortium led by Centro Terra Viva-Terra (CTV), to celebrate the marine biodiversity of Primeiras e Segundas Archipelago (APAIPS), a conservation area supported by the PROMOVE Biodiversidade Program, funded by the European Union and implemented by BIOFUND and ANAC.
BIOFUND and Partners Celebrate World Sea Turtle Day with APAIPS Event
The celebration took place at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Maputo City and was attended by around 50 participants, with emphasis on the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), National Fisheries Administration, European Union, World Bank, WWF Mozambique, RARE, WCS and the Administrator of APAIPS.
This was an opportunity to discuss the main challenges in APAIPS biodiversity conservation, funding opportunities and the role of the local communities in the management of natural resources. In the opening remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CTV, Augusto Paulino, highlighted that APAIPS biodiversity is being celebrated on World Sea Turtle Day as it is an important area for the prevalence of several species of sea turtles that are protected by law in Mozambique. On the occasion, projects implemented in this area of environmental protection were presented, with emphasis on the PROMOVE Biodiversidade Program by BIOFUND and the WWF Protect APAIPS Project.
Sea turtles play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of marine food chains. These marine reptiles spend their entire lives in the sea, except when the females go to beaches to lay their eggs. They are migratory and can cross oceans from one continent to another. A curious fact about turtles is that when they reach reproductive age, around 20 years old, they return to the same beach where they were born to lay their eggs. On average, each female lays about 130 eggs a year but for every thousand chicks born, only one or two chicks reach adulthood, while the rest will serve as food for a vast ecological chain.
In addition to the PROMOVE Biodiversidade Program at APAIPS, since 2017 BIOFUND has provided financial support to other Conservation Areas for the monitoring of sea turtles, such as the marine and coastal part of Maputo National Park, Santuário Bravio de Vilanculos in Cabo São Sebastião and the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park. BIOFUND also recently signed a grant with WWF to support the monitoring of sea turtles, where satellite tags will be placed to allow real-time monitoring and greater knowledge of the habits and routes of these species in common nesting sites. This new project uses funds raised through the bio debit card program, a partnership underway with BCI, which has mobilized more than 25,000 users of this card so far. Keep an eye on the BIOFUND website and follow the development of this news.