Initiative by ajizai


									          SUMMARY OF

                                           TOBY AYKROYD 0207 229 7719


INTRODUCTION                                             1-2

PART I     ONSHORE PROGRAMME                             3–6



PART IV    BELIZE RESOLUTION NO. 1                     15 - 18


PART VI    BELIZE PRESENTATION                         24 - 25


The central objective of this Initiative is the recovery of the Pacific Leatherback turtle
(Dermochelys coriacea) from the brink of extinction.

Threatened primarily by incidental take in fisheries, together with unsustainable exploitation
of eggs and loss of habitat, its numbers have fallen by some 80-90% in the past 12 years. It is
estimated that less than five years remain in which to take action.

Projections from 1999 suggest that by the year 2010 the Eastern Pacific population could be
too small to avoid extinction, and the 2001-2002 season saw the worst nesting figures since
records began.

Current conservation efforts are limited by several factors. The life cycle of these migratory
animals is complex, and their offshore existence still largely uncharted. Onshore conservation
endeavours, whilst individually effective, are patchily coordinated throughout the region,
research information is fragmented and, above all, very high levels of mortality from by-catch
by offshore fisheries continue unabated.

However, recent research from key nesting beaches in Mexico and Costa Rica provides
evidence that onshore conservation measures are starting to have some effect in mitigating
mortality levels. Moreover, genetic marking indicates that despite the dramatic drop in
numbers, there has been little corresponding impact on genetic diversity of the remaining

This suggests that coordinated research and conservation, targeting both coastal activity and
offshore fishing practices, can prevent the extinction in the Pacific with good potential for
population recovery so long as effective measures are urgently implemented.


This recognition has resulted in the formulation of a regional Initiative which seeks to link all
American Pacific nation groups into a coherent network, closely linked with endeavours in
the Western Pacific region (not shown in this document), with further support from
conservation bodies and experts throughout the region.

The activities involved in saving the Leatherback will also benefit a variety of other turtle,
mammal, bird and other marine and non-marine species, as well as a correspondingly wide
range of habitats – including ocean, shoreline and inland freshwater catchment areas.

Without amending the central objective of the Initiative, it would thus be feasible to widen its
overall appeal as a broad-based marine conservation endeavour.
There is also agreement that the Pacific focused Initiative will benefit Atlantic Leatherback
populations which are already facing similar threats, though they are currently less
vulnerable. Additionally, the Initiative’s Forum on Fisheries Cooperation has already been
identified as providing a highly effective prospective tool for achieving all-important reforms
to offshore fishing practices elsewhere in the world.



The Initiative has two component parts: an Onshore Programme (Diagram I, page 6) and a
Fisheries Cooperation Programme (Diagram II, page 12). These two parts are each
indispensable to the success of the Initiative and they will require careful overall
coordination, but each is designed to be managed as a separate entity: with its own structure
and objectives.


Whilst fullest cooperation is planned with all other endeavours in this field, including for
example those supported by the Pew Foundation and the CPPS, there does not appear to be
any other initiative which offers a coordinated regional approach to saving this migratory
species – particularly in addressing the crucial impact of the offshore fishing industry.


Although the Initiative is supported from outside the region, the intention is that it should be
founded with and managed by local participants. Central to its success will be the benefits it
can bring to local communities and its ability to work in full cooperation with all interested
parties, and most especially with the fishing industry itself.

The original mandate for the Initiative came from resolutions at the Belize Regional
Conference in October 2000. The requirement for the Fisheries Cooperation Programme is
underpinned by Resolution No 1 (see page 15), and the Onshore Programme by Resolution
No 9 (see page 19).

Support for the Initiative has since been substantially supplemented by general consultation
and feedback received from representatives throughout Latin America, together with the USA
and Canada, at the Philadelphia Symposium in February 2001, and the Miami Symposium in
                              PART I
                      THE ONSHORE PROGRAMME


The object of this Programme is to increase production of turtle hatchlings.

Onshore base operations involve combinations of: hatcheries, beach patrols, data collection
and analysis, local education etc. Equally, they can bring substantial socio-economic benefits
for the local communities, involving a combination of the following:

               *      Direct employment on the bases
               *      Provision of lodging & supplies to base staff
               *      Benefits from any controlled ancillary eco-tourism
               *      Artisan training
               *      Development of new local businesses
               *      Marketing support (use of conservation labels)
               *      Medical assistance
               *      General education and community improvements

The regional structure suggested for the Programme (see Diagram I) has the advantage of
being based on the existing Central America regional turtle network (Red Regional) plus
Mexico and possibly Ecuador and Columbia. It will be coordinated through an Executive

Within this structure, each country with nesting beaches on the Pacific coast will
autonomously develop its own onshore projects, involving both existing and newly created
bases. Any requests for finance under the Initiative will be placed through a Funding


2.1   Executive Committee

      This will include National Coordinators from the 6 countries identified as having
      nesting sites: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama.
      Given the existence of nesting sites on their beaches, Columbia & Ecuador could also
      be included. The role of the Committee will be to determine and promote specific
      targets for turtle hatchery and protection, as well as identifying specific projects in
      support of this ultimate goal.

      Two “Observer Countries”, Honduras and Belize, will also have an important role to
      play in the Committee: contributing experienced personnel and adding regional
      weight to its decisions. In this way the whole existing network (Red Regional) will
      be fully involved in the Initiative.

2.2   General Coordinator

      This executive role is central to the success of the entire Initiative. Mandated by the
      Executive Committee, it will ensure access to Best Practice and associated
      opportunities for supervisory assistance, training and monitoring across the onshore
      bases in order to achieve the goals recommended by the Committee.

      In addition to managing the Onshore Programme, the General Coordinator will also
      assist in running the Fisheries Cooperation Programme (see page 7), thus playing a
      key role in coordination of the two parts of the overall Initiative.


2.3   Retention of Autonomy for Each Existing Operation

      The emphasis of the Onshore Programme is on strengthening the position of existing
      operations, and the groups which run them, through suggestions for improved

      The independence of each existing operation, together with its administration and
      individual funding arrangements, will thus remain unaltered. But the benefits which
      each can derive from participation in the overall Programme should include:

             2.3.1   Access to information on Best Practice, including training, from other
                     operations. It is recognized that requirement for this will vary between
             2.3.2   The opportunity to standardize methodology and terminology in order
                     to assist region-wide studies for improved conservation.
             2.3.3   The advantage of a common database permitting much fuller
                     management information for all on the migratory Leatherback,
                     including an important model of regional population and life-cycle.
                     Appropriate confidentiality can be assured, if required.
             2.3.4   Extra funding from the Programme, allocated for new bases and for
                     strengthening existing operations.
             2.3.5   Improved opportunity for ongoing funding applications made by
                     individual groups as participants in the Programme.

      The greatest benefit of all for existing groups to derive from common participation
      lies in the knowledge that a successful Fisheries Cooperation Programme (page 5
      onwards) offers a far better chance for their young hatchlings to reach maturity on the
      high seas than any group can presently hope to assure through its own individual


3.1   Identification of Projects for Existing Bases

      This could involve any aspect of onshore base operation: hatcheries, beach patrols,
      data collection and analysis, local education etc. Equally, it could involve realization
      of socio-economic benefits for the local communities. Where objectives of new
      projects are felt to directly address objectives of the Initiative, and meet key criteria,
      applications can be submitted for appraisal by a Funding Committee.

3.2   Identification of Prospective New Bases

      Survey and reports on nesting beaches as yet not covered by onshore operations. See
      Appendix I. Where substantive potential is identified, applications for survey research
      and actual base development can be submitted for appraisal by a Funding Committee.

3.3   Development of a Regional Database & Data Exchange Plan

      A key element of the Onshore Programme will involve collection, collation and
      analysis of data on all aspects of operation of the bases, centred on production of
      turtle hatchlings. A system for regular feedback will be developed for all participants,
      which will also incorporate externally sourced information.


      It is recognized that data collation can be a sensitive area and appropriate steps would
      be needed to safeguard confidentiality as required by individual country participants –
      including design of a formal agreement.

3.4   Access to Common Methodology & Terminology

      Suggest norms of common methodology & terminology to be adopted by onshore
      groups for collation and assessment of data, together with common yardsticks of
      measurement – eg klms/night of beach surveyed. The objective is to improve data
      compatibility for region level research.

3.5   Establishment of Regional Leatherback Population Model

      This project will help determine key life cycle issues to inform management of
      Leatherback recovery. Factors to be determined could include: migration routes and
      nesting patterns, growth rates, age at first reproduction, length of reproductive life.

      This would involve testing to determine gene structure of remaining populations, and
      relationships between nesting colonies. Programmes of pit tagging, migration studies
      and existing research collation would also be required. The model should also allow
      comparison of the impact on population of alternative actions.

3.6   Best Practice Project

      Provision of access to best practice for all onshore bases – both for base management
      and socio-economic community projects. This would involve discussion and
      agreement with individual groups on projects they may require to improve base
      operation (see Project 3.1 above), implementation of technical manuals on a
      standardized basis, together with appropriate training needs analysis where requested.

3.6   Other Projects

      The above project categories are not intended to be exhaustive, and the Feasibility
      Study can assess further potential.



                                          PART II



        The objective of this Programme is to enlist the cooperation of the various elements
        of the fishing industry and related government agencies in reducing as far and fast as
        possible mortality rates of turtles from incidental by-catch.

        To achieve this objective it will be necessary to identify the current impact of fishing
        practices, provide effective information on this impact and develop programmes of
        reform and certification to ensure application of best practice where appropriate.

        These activities would be undertaken following wide prior consultation within the
        fishing industry and government agencies, the objective being to secure the fullest

        Six project groups have so far been identified as forming the basis for the Fisheries
        Cooperation Programme:

                       *       Background Research
                       *       Gill Nets
                       *       Long Lines
                       *       Trawling/Turtle Excluder Devices
                       *       Other Fishing Issues
                       *       Legal Matters
                       *       Best Practice/Certification

        Each project area would have its own coordinator, and can be sub-divided as
        necessary to realize objectives.

        The Initiative clearly could not aim to initiate reforms by itself. Its effectiveness
        would lie in its ability to research, advise and publicize on a cooperative basis the best
        solutions for the region.

1.1     Background Research on Leatherback Population Dynamics
      Study of population distribution, and migration routes. Survey known areas of
      migration in the Eastern Pacific, whilst verifying relevance of data input from outside
      this region – including assessment of linkages between Western and Eastern Pacific
      populations. Study of the geographic-temporal linkages between turtles & fisheries as
      related to oceanographic features – ie fronts.

      A mix of satellite tracking, onboard observers and genetic/tagging studies is implied
      here. There should be close correlation with population data from the Onshore
      Programme to create an integrated model.


1.2   Gill Nets

      1.2.1   Assessment of Fishing Industry Impact

                             Study of the impact on the population of Leatherbacks and
                             species of the fishing industry.

                            Study of the impact of this industry on the population of
                            Leatherbacks and other species, including assessment of the
                            sword fishing industry in the waters of central Chile
                            particularly during the months from March to July.

      1.2.2   Assessment of Fishing Industry Structure

                            Study of the economic importance of this industry and its
                            commercial future, including assessment of short and long-term

      1.2.3   Assessment of Alternative Impact Mitigation Projects

                            Studies of economic alternatives: traditional spear fishing etc;
                            training crewmen; education for the fishing industry and local
                            communities; seasonal closure of waters; alternative land-based
                            socio-economic projects.

      1.2.3   Other Projects:       To be advised.

1.3   Long Lining

      1.3.1   Assessment of Fishing Industry Impact

                            Study of the impact of this industry on the population of
                            Leatherbacks and other species, including the Galapagos
                            Islands and Westwards.

      1.3.2   Assessment of Fishing Industry Structure
                          Study of the economic importance of this industry and its
                          commercial future, including assessment of short and long-term
                          viability. Include review of fishing industry in Latin America,
                          Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Spain and elsewhere deemed

      1.3.3   Assessment of Alternative Impact Mitigation Projects

                          Study of alternatives: use of different fishing techniques
                          (impact of exclusion of luminous baits, shorter lines, closer to
                          the surface, less “soaktime”); seasonal closure of waters (IAC)
                          with review of compensation alternatives - review of the
                          Hawaii moratorium; training crewmen; education for the
                          fishing industry and local communities; alternative land-based
                          socio-economic projects.


1.4   Trawling/Turtle Excluder Devices

                          Review of the effectiveness of existing monitoring
                          programmes.       Development       and    representation of
                          recommendations for improvements – the programme being
                          run by the US is of particular importance here.

1.5   Other Fishing Issues

                          This section includes other fisheries projects, including a
                          review of consumer attitudes towards other consumer-based
                          measures which may become necessary if the above actions do
                          not have a positive effect in rapid and wholesale diminution of
                          turtle mortality.

1.6   Legal Aspects

                          There is a need to tackle an apparent loophole in current
                          legislation which leaves the Leatherback unprotected in non-
                          territorial waters. CITES does not regulate by-catch. IAC
                          whilst of great prospective value applies to American countries
                          operating within continental waters and SPAW covers the

                          Study is required of existing laws, with a view to strengthening
                          existing legislation, as well as a review of requirement for
                          supplementary legislation. Legislative requirements will be
                          determined by those actions identified as essential to protection
                          of the Leatherback.
                            Review newer developments: IAC now entered into law, the
                            CMS (Bonn Convention) has potential – Law of the Sea
                            Convention, work on IUU fishery (Illegal, Unregulated,
                            Unrecorded), FAO Code of Practice and other developments
                            arising out of committee on Fisheries. Identify key figures.

                            Review opportunities for more effective monitoring and

1.7   Best Practice and Certification

                            There is a need to establish a working group comprising the
                            fishing industry, ministries, consumer groups and conservation
                            interests to identify Best Practice: both for fishing techniques
                            and in terms of product labeling.

                            A review is required of what can be learned from the Drift Net
                            campaign for the dolphin, and adoption of “dolphin-friendly”
                            labels for seafood products. Coordination should be sought
                            with those organizations already involved in certification.


1.8   Consumer Group Mapping Project

      A review of consumer attitudes towards other consumer-based measures which may
      become necessary should there be difficulty reaching agreement or successfully
      implementing by-catch policies, or if such policies do not have a positive effect in
      rapid and wholesale diminution of turtle mortality.

      Development of a map of conservation groups, consumer, restaurant and wholesaler
      organizations and their links to national and international governance structures, in
      LAC, North America, E Asia and Europe.

Overview of Offshore Programme Structure

      Based around research findings from both the Onshore and Offshore aspects of the
      Initiative, consultations can be enacted for development of a series of policies to
      mitigate the impact of by-catch on the populations of Pacific Leatherback and other

      Representation and agreement on these reforms would be followed by measures to
      ensure adequate implementation and monitoring.

2.1   The Forum on Fisheries Cooperation

      The concept behind the “Forum” (see Diagram II) is to create an instrument which
      enables discussions between the various interested parties within a collaborative
      framework, with the view to reaching agreement on reforms to the fishing industry,
      and other related measures, involving projects based on results of scientific

      Those participating would include representatives from the fishing industry,
      ministries, consumer groups and conservation interests, including those involved with
      the Onshore Programme with further representation from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
      and Chile. It is recommended that the active involvement of representatives from the
      United States and Canada also be sought.

      Membership should be limited to a number consistent with the need for effective
      decision-taking on the adoption and monitoring of specific measures. Further
      representation would be provided through Working Parties tasked with evaluating
      specific projects for the Initiative.

      The involvement of Observer Countries in the work of the Forum is important: to add
      specialist expertise, to lend weight to the decisions of the Forum, and to ensure that
      all relevant countries in the region are involved in the decision-taking process.


2.2   The President of the Forum

      This is a key role – charged, in coordination with the General Coordinator, with the
      formulation and realization of the Forum’s objectives. This office would also Chair
      Forum meetings and act, again in tandem with the General Coordinator, as a link with
      the Consultative Council.

      Close coordination between the General Coordinator and the Forum President is
      central to the entire initiative – two executives working in parallel, with roles that are
      complementary, as well as providing political “equilibrium” to the organization.
2.3   Research Department

      The work of this Department would act as a foundation for projects adopted by the
      Forum, providing them with a credible basis of scientific research and analysis.

      The Department would comprise a coordinator and other personnel, involving the
      following fields:

      2.3.1   Collection and analysis of information onboard fishing vessels, using other
              turtle species as the main medium for conclusions on by-catch, given that the
              Leatherback is now so rare that instances of capture are too infrequent to
              provide appropriate new records.

      2.3.2   Collation and analysis of data from existing research, including output from
              previous workshops, as well as experience from previous projects –
              particularly the Drift Net campaign and anything so far concluded from studies
              involved in the closure of Hawaiian waters.

      2.3.3   Study of the geographic-temporal linkages between turtles & fisheries as
              related to oceanographic features – viz fronts. Mix of satellite tracking for
              migration routes, onboard observers and genetic/tagging studies is implied

      2.3.4   Testing to determine gene structure of remaining populations, and
              relationships between nesting colonies. DNA sampling from turtle by-catch to
              determine origins. Population dynamics, modeling and stock assessment.

      2.3.5   Expertise on alternative fishing techniques.

      2.3.6   Expertise on land based socio-economic projects (also required for the
              Onshore Programme).

      2.3.7   Legal expertise (maritime and environmental treaty law)

2.4   Media and Promotion Department

      The General Coordinator and the Forum President should control output from this
      Department, ensuring tight coordination of media communications and education.

      This would be important in the maintenance of a consistent and professional image
      for the initiative.

2.5   Consultative Council

      Comprising appropriate specialists, representatives from key conservation institutions
      and finance providers, this Council would play a very important role in advising the
      Forum, as well as lending professional and institutional weight to its decisions.

      A number of appropriate organizations and individuals have already been identified.



                                     PART III


A Feasibility Study will shortly be undertaken, incorporating development of an
overall strategic plan identifying and prioritizing objectives, and establishing a time-
scale for operations.

The study will include assessment and elaboration of the following elements:

1.     List of stakeholders in the Initiative
2.     Consultation Plan
3.     Research Plan
4.     Funding Plan
5.     Management Plan
6.     Funding Administration Plan
7.     Representation & Liaison Plan
8.     Promotion and Media Plan
9.     Post Hoc Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

Information gathering projects are already proposed in both Resolution 1 (Research
into Incidental By-catch) and Resolution 9 (Appendix I, page 22).

Funding Proposal

The Feasibility Study which will involve development of a Funding Proposal to
provide finance for a minimum operation period of 5 years. This will be submitted
once the findings of the Feasibility Study have been reviewed and agreed.

       PART IV

                                RESOLUTION # 1



The negative effects of incidental fishing (capture) on sea turtles of the Eastern


That the nations that have industrial fishing operations in the Eastern Pacific,
including the nations of other continents, coordinate efforts to significantly reduce
incidental fishing (capture) of sea turtles during industrial fishing operations in the
Eastern Pacific.


Seek funds to support biological investigations. Implementation of awareness
campaigns directed toward regional authorities and the industrial fishing sector
about the need to apply the existing legislation in the control of fishing practices and
to legislate the actions that are not included in current law. At the same time,
propose to them the development of environmentally ethical support programs for


The fishing authorities of the nations involved, FAO, OLDEPESCA, PRADEPESCA,
the Regional Sea Turtle Conservation Network in Central America and the local
National Sea Turtle Conservation Networks.

1. That sea turtles are valued for recreational, scientific, socioeconomic, cultural,
   aesthetic, and spiritual reasons;

2. That in spite of the protection efforts in nesting beaches being carried out by
   governments and non-profit organizations of the region, some sea turtle
   populations continue declining, especially the leatherback sea turtle
   (Dermochelys coriacea) of the Eastern Pacific, whose nesting populations have
   seen reductions of 90% during the last decade;

3. That an excessive, high mortality of adults and juveniles has been identified, a
   product of incidental fishing (catch), and that this is a principal factor of the
   recent decline of this species in the Eastern Pacific;

4. That sea turtles are highly migratory species and as such are a shared resource,
   and that the incidental capture of these species in a place of their geographic
   distribution neutralizes the efforts to protect the nesting sites that have taken
   place since many decades ago, in other areas;

5. That the sea turtle species of the region have been listed as endanger of
   extinction (EN) or critically endanger of extinction (CR) by the Red Book of the
   International Union for the Conservation of Nature and in Appendix I of the
   Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
   Flora (CITES);

6. That the nations of the Central American isthmus are members of international
   treaties as well as fishing agreements whose obligations are to promote the
   responsible use of fishing resources, and as well have domestic regulations
   designed to protect marine turtles and their habitats;

7. That the fishing industries that use industrial long lines in pelagic waters capture
   juvenile and adult leatherback sea turtles and other species;

8. That this capture has not been completely evaluated and it is estimated that it is
   likely that it could be dozens of thousands of sea turtles per year;

9. That the artesian fishing using gill nests and lines in shallow coastal waters is
   also an important source of mortality of leatherback turtles and other species;

10. That current scientific evidence suggests that certain fishing zones, particularly in
    waters around the Galápagos Islands, are biological corridors for the
    leatherback, and it is precisely in these zones of concentration of reproductive
    adults where the population is most vulnerable;

11. That regional guidelines do not exist concerning the assigning of responsibilities
    and fishing ban periods;

12. That numerous examples exist that show that the industrial fisheries tend to be
    short term planners, and that that same destiny can be expected of the long line
    fishery at high sea that is being developed now;
13. That in earlier instances the regional fishing authorities have been warned of
this situation, and have not taken adequate measures regarding this issue;


1. That the participation of the industrial fishing sector is indispensable to generate
   the scientific information necessary for the appropriate management of fishing
   resources and the species captured incidentally;

   That in this sense, the collaboration of the Costa Rican fishing industry, in
   particular Papagayo Seafood S.A., has been key in obtaining the updated

2. Capture of sea turtles in waters of the exclusive economic zone of this nation;

3. That whatever effort to obtain funds and investigation should consider the
   legitimate interests of the fishing sector, both artesian and industrial.


The participants of the IV Regional Workshop for the Conservation of Sea Turtles in
Central America, resolve to request governments, fisheries offices and fishing
chambers of the region, to take immediate actions in the coordination of efforts to:

1. To stimulate and support biological investigation directed at the evaluation of
   incidental capture of sea turtles, during fishing operations at high sea that use
   long lines and gill nets, in collaboration with investigation and conservation
   bodies, both public and private;

2. Perform a socioeconomic evaluation on the importance of this activity, and
   identify possible sources of alternative income;

3. Evaluate the effects of the subventions on the development of fishing with long-
   line and the fishing effort;

4. Perform training directed at fishermen so that they take actions to resuscitate
   turtles when taken aboard, and that they take the necessary measures to reduce
   the damage inflicted upon turtles when they are captured and liberated;

5. Based on the investigations propose temporary bans in feeding, breeding, and
   nesting zones of turtles as well as other critical ecosystems in their life cycle;

6. Develop environmental certification programs for products collected in
   environmentally ethical fishing operations;

7. Develop consumer campaigns to motivate fishermen to comply with the
   protection recommendations for sea turtles;

8. Ensure effective control and vigilance of the activities that threaten the
   populations of sea turtles of the region;
9. Formulate an investigation proposal within one month with the political support of
   the interested parties, to initiate the efforts and paperwork necessary to secure

10. Perform an initial investigation in the Eastern Pacific, with observers on board
    long-line ships with a duration of at least 6 months, and depending on the results
    of this investigation carry out an emergency meeting.

Approved by majority vote of plenary, in San Ignacio, Belize, 14 October 2000.


                                   PART V

                     BELIZE RESOLUTION NO. 9
                                RESOLUTION #9

     SUPPORT TO THE LEATHERBACK (Dermochelys coriacea)
                 OF THE AMERICAN PACIFIC

Problem to resolve:

The loss of populations of leatherback sea turtles, the lack of conservation
projects in important nesting sites, and the lack of financing for existing
conservation projects on the American Pacific coast.

Objective of resolution:

To develop immediate and effective actions for the conservation of
leatherback sea turtles in the American Pacific.

Follow-up actions to ensure resolution takes effect:

Program meetings with sea turtle networks and projects of each country.

Persons responsible for actions:

Coordinators of the network of each country.


1. That the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a migratory species
   shared by all the countries of the American Pacific, as well as other countries
   outside of the region;

2. That the leatherback sea turtle is listed as a species critically endanger of
   extinction by the Red Book of the International Union for the Conservation of
   Nature (IUCN) and in Appendix I of the Convention on the International Trade of
   Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
3. That according to scientific studies, the leatherback nesting populations of the
   American Pacific have declined by 90 per cent over the last 12 years, to critical

4. That it is urgent that effective and immediate actions be taken to prevent the
   disappearance of leatherback populations that nest in the American Pacific;

5. That the protection of leatherback nesting sites is fundamental to the
   conservation of populations of this species;

6. That the Biodiversity Convention establishes the Precautionary Principal to help
   States to protect endangered species that do not have scientific investigations;

7. That a proposal exists before RAMSAR for nesting beaches to be considered as
   important parameters in the determination of RAMSAR sites of international


The participants of the IV Regional Workshop for the Conservation of Sea
Turtles in Central America resolve:

1. To unite forces to work in a coordinated manner between the distinct public and
private sectors with the goal of arriving at a solution to this problem;

2. That each country identify the most important leatherback nesting sites in the
American Pacific:

     a) To determine the technical and financial help required by existing projects,
     defining objectives, activities, management and costs;

     b) Initiate projects where they currently do not exist;

3. Put all this information together in a regional proposal integrating a list of
individual projects with an order of priority;

4. Present the proposal to various appropriate sources to secure funds;

5. That all this information be presented in a period of 2 months according to the
national coordinators of each country.

The Signatories Below:

Request the governments, non-governmental organizations, international
organizations, local communities and universities to support this initiative with the
goal of the conservation of this very endangered species.
Approved by majority of the plenary, in San Ignacio, Belize, 14
October 2000.


                                RESOLUTION NO. 9
                                   APPENDIX I

                    INFORMATION REQUESTED


Each country should provide as much detail as possible on its nesting sites for the Pacific
Leatherback, specifying the technical or financial support required. This can involve support
for existing onshore bases or for establishment of new bases.

Information supplied should include, for each site, the following:


       1.1     Characteristics of site and its neighbourhood: physical, social etc
       1.2     Location: latitude & longitude; local population centre; department/state
       1.3     Dimensions of nesting beach: length in kilometres; areas where main nesting
               occurs (if known) – provide map if possible
       1.4     Condition of the beach: pristine, proportion affected by buildings, other
       1.5     Type of beach: low, medium, high energy
       1.6     Communications: isolated with difficult access, good road communications


       2.1     How was its location detected: direct observation, over-flight, land-based
               prospecting, local interviews
       2.2     Importance of site: number of nests annually, which species; how are figures
               calculated – by counting or estimates
     2.3   Relative importance of site – in relation to national nesting population
     2.4   Urgency of protection required for site – subject to intensive nest pillage,
           habitat endangered by human or other activity
     2.5   Where more than one site requires financial or other support, state order of


     3.1   Specify objectives of the programme: eg target % for reduction/elimination of
           egg removal; target level of egg sale income substitution; target increase for
           hatchling production; others
     3.2   Specific activities for which finance is required: hatchery, patrols, training,
           research, environmental education, others. Time period estimated for
           establishment of activities.


     3.3   Additional benefits anticipated:
           3.3.1 Support for the conservation of other species of turtles, other species
                  generally, conservation of habitat (watersheds, woodlands, marine
                  habitat etc)
           3.3.2 Socio-economic benefits for the local community (additional or
                  alternative income, ecotourism, support for establishment of small
                  businesses, medical assistance, provision of tools and equipment,
     3.4   Organization and description of participating personnel:
           3.4.1 Background (qualifications/experience) of local management and staff
           3.4.2 Personnel training. Training already received. Use of Best Practice
                  (Central American Network Manual, MTSG Research and
                  Management Techniques for Sea Turtle Conservation booklet).
                  Specific specialist training for the Leatherback
           3.4.3 Links with other onshore bases or research projects in the region
           3.4.4 System of supervision for national and regional coordinators
           3.4.5 Calculation of supplementary costs of logistic support for the base -
                  supervision, supplies, transport and communications etc


     4.1   Presence of current support for the site – from local population, outside
           institutions etc
     4.2   Existence of any antagonism from the local population – tradition of egg
           collection or killing of turtles
     4.3   Existence of other marine turtle projects already established in the country –
           specify: number of projects, management, institutions participating,
           objectives, current provision of finance
     4.4    Brief explanation of how support from local people is to be secured
     4.5    For the establishment of new bases:
            4.5.1 Description of preparatory work required: research, environmental
                    education, meetings with the community, ministries/secretariats, local
                    authorities, NGOs etc needed to secure full prior cooperation of the
                    local community and relevant external organizations
            4.5.2 Estimated time period required for this preparatory work
            4.5.3 Estimated time period for establishment of new onshore bases, with
                    specified activities


     Information with much detail as possible, stating assumptions where specific items
     cannot be budgeted for. Costings should be realistic but as economic as possible.

     5.1    For existing bases/activities:
            5.1.1 Supplementary finance requirements for individual activities
            5.1.2 Requirements for training input by external experts
     5.2    For establishment of new bases:
            5.2.1 Construction and investment costs: land purchase, buildings,
                    equipment, supplies etc
            5.2.2 Annual running costs: salaries, training, supplies, communications.
                    Costings should be realistic but as economic as possible
            5.2.3 Requirements for training input by external experts


                                  PART VI


               13 October 2000, San Ignacio, Belize

  7.30 pm           Introduction to the Project

                    Toby Aykroyd
                    Great Britain

                    Explanation of Project Structure
Alberto Abreu

The Role of Research in the Project

Randall Arauz
Costa Rica

Participation of the Mesoamerican
Countries in the Project

Rotney Piedra
Costa Rica

Celina Duenas
El Salvador

Anabella Barrios

Alberto Abreu

Walter Vaughan

Lineth Cordoba

Conclusions on the Project
Didiher Chacón, Regional Coordinator



To top