For many years, wildlife conservation had focused on the protection of endangered single species. However, the acceleration of Climate Change and its consequences have turned the focus to the protection of important ecosystems that, at the same time, represent the main habitat for most threatened species. In addition to that, the protection and restoration of key habitats, such as rain-forests or coastal ecosystems, are also powerful tools to mitigate the negative impacts of global warming. On the other hand, healthy ecosystems provide direct benefits to the communities living nearby through the sustainable exploitation of its resources.
Although Project Biodiversity started in 2015 with the direct protection of sea turtles, we are now implementing several projects that focus on the protection and recovery of coastal habitats. These projects count with the support and involvement of the public and private sectors, and also aim to push for sustainable tourism in Sal Island.
Establishing Cooperative Marine Protected Area Management to Conserve Sal's Key Biodiversity Area
Funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, and with the direct support of the Protected Areas in Sal, this three-year effort aims to transform the way Sal’s protected areas are recognized and managed by engaging a wide variety of public stakeholders through the various stages of the project’s development.
This engagement will include comprehensive training workshops for local authorities, as well as ongoing outreach and sensitisation with all major stakeholders around the overall goals, and development of new protocols regarding the designated protected area.
An area spanning nearly 5 km, Costa de Fragata Natural Reserve is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, and serves as the primary nesting beach for the island’s endangered Loggerhead sea turtle population. The sea bottom, rich in coral and fish represents a key feeding area for juvenile green and hawksbill turtles, as well as an important breeding ground for lemon, nurse and endangered hammerhead sharks. One of the main goals of the project is to assess the biodiversity of the area to better understand the scope of species diversity in the designated reserve.
MPA of Costa Fragata
Over the last ten years, unregulated coastal development within the protected area boundaries has put the ecosystem at risk. While countless tour operators, tourists, and other stakeholders occupy space in this area at various times, many have yet to take an active role in efforts to protect the resources within those boundaries. This program aims to change that.
In addition to ongoing community engagement efforts, this new programme will provide support and capacity-building for local fishers, guides, and others impacted by new management policies, including the implementation of Guardians of the Sea, an initiative spearheaded in Maio by Maio Biodiversity Foundation and that will be adapted to Sal, which leverages local knowledge of fishers to support monitoring efforts of the coastal marine waters within the marine protected areas.
For those that think this project has negatively impacted their well-being, Project Biodiversity together with the Protected Areas Team and the CEPF regional implementation team, give the option to present an official complaint that will be studied and shared with the previously mentioned partners. Please, follow the instructions and fill-up the form that you can find in this link, in Project's Biodiversity office, and in the Protected Areas cabinet.
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.