Voices rang loud and clear through the streets of Victoria on Saturday 12th August 2017 as the fifth annual Seychelles Sea Turtle Festival took to the streets for a vibrant March with a Message.
Island Conservation Society (ICS) stepped out with other environmental NGOs, Seychelles Ministry of Environment, and hundreds of schoolchildren, teachers and members of the public to raise awareness of sea turtles and the many threats they face.
Despite laws in place since 1994 to protect them, turtle populations in Seychelles still suffer from illegal poaching for food or jewellery, unsustainable fishing practices, Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), nesting habitat loss, and plastic and other marine pollution. Standardized protocols are in place for turtle conservation monitoring and management on the islands of Alphonse, Desroches, Poivre and Farquhar as prescribed under the GoS-UNDP-GEF Outer Islands Project implemented largely by ICS.
Primary and secondary school students are more aware than ever of these dangers and others affecting our shared future. Through incredibly creative use of costume, dance, song, plays and slogans they demonstrated how we all need to behave to ensure turtles may continue to be one of the wildlife wonders that make Seychelles so unique, for generations to come. Our young changemakers are congratulated for campaigning so enthusiastically and eloquently for the “voiceless turtles”.
A big Thank You to our partners at GoS-UNDP-GEF Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) for donating prizes for the schools competition, and thank you again to all who participated or came along on behalf of Sea Turtles.