Turtle conservation in Costa Rica

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2017: 23 Oct, 30 Oct, 6 Nov, 13 Nov, 20 Nov, 27 Nov, 4 Dec, 11 Dec
2018: 4 Jul, 11 Jul, 18 Jul, 25 Jul, 1 Aug, 8 Aug, 15 Aug, 22 Aug, 29 Aug, 5 Sep, 12 Sep, 19 Sep, 26 Sep, 3 Oct, 10 Oct, 17 Oct, 24 Oct, 31 Oct, 7 Nov, 14 Nov, 21 Nov, 28 Nov, 5 Dec
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Turtle conservation in Costa Rica

Environment

For over 15 years, the project has been working closely with the local community to educate them on the importance of protecting sea turtles and conserving these species. During this time they have protected and released hundreds of thousands of hatchlings.

The night patrols have had a remarkably positive impact, seeing a drop of around 80% in the number of nests that have been poached in the area.

Olive Ridley turtles which account for around 90% of all turtle encounters in the area, are categorised as ‘vulnerable’ according to the IUCN Red List of Endangered species so their protection is vitally important. There is also a lack of data about this species and so the data that the project collects is incredibly important for building this knowledge base.

Volunteers travel to and from the project on arrival into the coutnry using public transport which allows them to both gain a beautiful view of the country as well as utilising a low carbon transport option

Community

Social responsibility: Before volunteers depart we provide them with a detailed volunteering guide on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs.

Economic responsibility: For over 10 years we have been providing volunteers to help at charitable projects around the world. A UK charity has now been launched to build on this success by providing financial assistance to overseas causes as well. The organisations we work with are often struggling to fund the work they are doing so every penny raised makes a real difference.

This is a locally run organisation, providing employment for local Costa Rican staff. While volunteers are in-country, they stay in locally owned accommodation and we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses. Volunteers are also able to assist with a community education project whereby children from the local community can attend the project to improve their English and learn about environmental issues.

Environmental responsibility: One of the main negative impacts of our volunteers travelling, is the carbon dioxide created from flights. We work with an Amazon conservation project that helps to ensure that carbon is sequestered through tree planting. While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment. And at our office in the UK we try to recycle as much of our office waste as possible, use recycled products where available, avoid printing (no brochures) and minimise energy usage.

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