From Mexico to Malaysia, the Ivory Coast to Indonesia, we’re busy supporting a host of community-based conservation projects right across the globe.
Working with our global charity partner, SEE Turtles, through their incredible Billion Baby Turtles programme, we’re doing what’s needed to support key nesting sites and save these adorable endangered creatures.
Here are five amazing conservation projects which will give you a feel for the sort of work everyone who enjoys Lost Years Rum is helping make happen...
Palmarito Sea Turtle Camp, Oaxaca, Mexico
The Palmarito Project has been operating since 2005 and is focused around a hugely important nesting beach for leatherback, black, and olive ridley turtles. The project also runs the Dark Nights Environmental Education Program, to provide information to people who live on the beachfront, about the importance of Palmarito for the reproduction of sea turtles and the many threats they face. Last season alone they protected 284 nests of olive ridley turtles, 120 green turtles, and 5 leatherbacks, helping to get to the ocean more than 34,000 sea turtles. The SEE Turtles’ Billion Baby Turtles programme provided financial support to help save more than 4,500 baby turtles.
Conservation des Espèces Marines, Grand-Béréby, Ivory Coast
Conservation des Espèces Marines (CEM) has been active for more than a decade, focusing on approximately 30 km of beaches west of Grand-Béréby on the Ivory Coast. CEM is a local nonprofit association and is composed almost entirely by members of local communities. The field activities are carried out by local eco-guards. Three marine turtle species nest on the beach West of Grand Béréby: leatherback, olive ridleys, and green turtles. Last season, they protected 679 olive ridley nests, 60 green turtles, and 54 leatherbacks. Billion Baby Turtles has supported this organization for the first time this year with US $3,000 expecting to help at least 1,000 baby turtles to get to the ocean.
The Turtle Foundation, Selaut Besar, Indonesia
Selaut Besar is an important nesting site for green turtles in Sumatra/Indonesia. Last season, the Turtle Foundation protected 328 nests of green turtles and 18 of leatherback. The island is also sporadically visited by hawksbill turtles, so that a total of three different species of sea turtles nest on this unique island. The Turtle Foundation is hiring and training staff from local communities and each member of the Selaut team is from Simeulue. Some of the team members were hunters themselves but now, through participation in the programme, they are aware of the importance of the sea turtles and have become sea turtle guardians. They carry this awareness with them into their communities and have been able to raise awareness of the project through community engagement. The Billion Baby Turtles programme is supporting this new project with US$ 5,000 for this upcoming season.
Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative, Conflict Island Atoll, Milne Bay (Papua New Guinea)
CICI’s ‘Safe Habitats’ programme employs Indigenous Conservation Rangers, training them on marine turtle populations, their importance to the local eco-system, and conservation techniques. The ranger’s presence along the Conflict Islands help to make local communities aware and decrease the number of illegal collectors from surrounding islands. Furthermore, to increase hawksbill hatchling success, they also collect ‘high risk’ eggs that are either below the high tide line or on a beach accessed by illegal collectors and relocate them in their hatchery on the main island of Panasesa. This project started in 2016 with just four local rangers but now they have 14, and this year they are seeking to employ a further four women to the team. This project protects green and hawksbill turtles, every year they help around 28,000 hatchlings to get to the ocean. For the fourth year in a row, Billion Baby Turtles supported this project with US $8,000.
Reef Guardians, Lankayan Island (Malaysia)
Since 2004, this project has protected hawksbill and green turtles nesting on Lankayan Island, in Malaysia. Since then, the annual nesting increased gradually from 138 nests in 2004 to 833 in 2021. Last season they protected 403 nests of greens and 124 nests of hawksbill turtles with a total of 30,763 hatchlings of green turtles and 12,311 of hawksbills. With US $3,000, Billion Baby Turtles supported this upcoming season we expect to help 12,000 baby turtles to get to the ocean.