West Africa is of global importance for sea turtles, all seven species of which appear on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

Some of the world’s largest populations of loggerhead and green turtles breed in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau respectively. These populations are threatened by invasive species, illegal harvesting of females and eggs, bycatch by industrial and artisanal fishing vessels, and decline in nesting habitat due to coastal erosion, flooding and unregulated tourism.

We aim to eradicate disturbance and illegal harvesting of important breeding sites for green and loggerhead turtles and minimise natural and anthropogenic habitat disturbance at these sites by:

  • patrolling and surveillance of priority breeding sites
  • effective management of MPAs
  • community engagement in turtle conservation
  • enhancing legal protection of unprotected breeding sites outside MPAs
  • mitigating habitat disturbance and associated impacts
  • promoting sustainable tourism, coastal development and land use planning
  • conducting research and monitoring
  • strengthening environmental awareness, communication and education


Our principal areas of focus are Boa Vista and Maio islands in Cape Verde, and the Bijâgos archipelago (National Marine Park of João Vieira and Poilão and Orango National Park) in Guinea-Bissau.


  • FMB
  • Fundaçao Tartaruga
  • IBAP
  • Ministerio da Agricultura e Ambiente

Focus on one of our partners

At the heart of all our work are passionate people dedicated to delivering effective and lasting conservation. These inspirational partners are our greatest asset.

Ukie Resende
(c) Turtle Foundation

Ukie Resende

Fundaçao Tartaruga
Children recognize the logo on the truck and call out, ‘Fundação!’, and lots of local people call me ‘Tartaruga’! More and more people here are learning about and supporting turtle conservation.”

Annual Budget

MAVA has allocated €900,000 annually to this Action Plan

Additional co-funding is needed to ensure our partners’ work continues when our grant-making ends in 2022


Marie Madeleine Gomez

Manager, West Africa

More details

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