Young people from across Africa came together to launch the 2022 PACE webinars today. Atwaa and Teresa from Lamcot on Lamu island in Kenya gave a fascinating presentation on Sea turtle conservation, followed by an hour long Q & A session. Nearly 100 participants joined us, using a wide range of equipment and settings: school and university students, wildlife clubs, youth groups, teachers and conservation educators, logging in from Victoria Falls, Hwange and Vumba National Parks in Zimbabwe, from South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Cameroon.
Most of the participants are far from the ocean and have never seen the sea. The curiosity in their questions as they learned about wider corners of the continent and compared it with their own localities was impressive. Young people in the mountain and rainforest area of central Africa asked if turtles were harmful and if they have natural defense mechanisms, in Zimbabwe they asked about the challenges of implementing coastal conservation, and about government policies that were in place. From the Sahel there was a question about the difference between land and sea turtles, and how tourists view turtles if they are in the ocean. We learned about turtle tears, how the success of conservation on Lamu is rooted in the local communities, how prey detect newly hatched turtles buried in the sand, the work of turtle guardiens and above all the desperate need to reduce our plastic waste.
Wherever we are in the world, we can make a real difference by reducing our plastic waste as so much ends up in the oceans, harming people and wildlife.
Gwen, in central Africa, realising that they too have sea turtles wrote “This has really given me an insight into turtle conservation and how we can include that in our Environmental Education program. I didn’t realise it was something we should be doing.’ Marius wrote ‘We learned so much. The experience that others shared in the meeting will really influence our thinking.’
You can find answers to your questions and learn more about Sea turtles and Lamcot’s wider work on www.lamcot.org
The topic of our next webinar will be Wild dog and carnivore conservation, with Jo Taylor from Karingani game reserve in Mozambique, Tuesday 2nd August. For more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org