Government-funded projects to protect the world’s turtles and mangroves have been praised by the Environment Minister on last week’s World Wildlife Day.
Last Sunday (Sunday 3 March) marked United Nations World Wildlife Day. The theme for this year is ‘Life below water: for people and planet’.
One of the key animals whose plight is being highlighted is the turtle, targeted for their eggs, meat and shells. Turtles have also suffered from habitat loss due to construction on coastlines.
The UK Government’s Darwin Initiative has supported the work of Fauna & Flora International to help these important sea creatures. One such project to protect leatherback and hawksbill turtles in Nicaragua has achieved a significant reduction in the illegal harvesting of their eggs.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
World Wildlife Day is a chance to celebrate the wonderful individuals and organisations in coastal communities around the globe who are dedicated to protecting our flora and fauna.
I am pleased to see this successful work to protect turtles in Nicaragua. The Darwin Initiative is critical in supporting this type of international conservation project.
The UK is also a global leader in providing support and finance to help coastal communities protect and enhance vital resources, such as mangroves. This overseas support is critical to delivering on our ambition to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.
Fauna & Flora International has been working to protect marine turtles in Nicaragua for 15 years and a key part of that work has been ensuring local communities are central to conservation initiatives.
The most recent project received £385,617 from the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative in 2017 and has been achieving significant success for young turtle hatchlings.