An ECHO grant of £1000 was awarded to Professor Marina Novelli and Eneida De Carvalho (BA International Travel Management) to further build on the work of Turtles’ SOS The Gambia in the Kartong region of the country.
The community of Kartong, where the Sandele Eco-retreat and learning centre is located, includes about 4000 residents, 10% of which is directly employed in tourism and many are indirectly benefitting from the sector. Piloting turtle conservation will stimulate local awareness and could translate into the creation of a 22 Km conservation area benefitting several other nearby villages, with considerable positive environmental and socio-economic impacts to last for several years to come.
The ECHO grant funding has allowed for capacity building at the Sandele Eco- retreat and learning centre by training turtle monitors and local community volunteers.
Local volunteers work for the benefit of turtles and educate the local population about these precious creatures. Turtle conservation interpretation material has been produced as a result of the ECHO grant funding which will be used by local volunteers for this purpose.
The ECHO grant seed-funded the ‘Sandele Turtle Conservation and Observatory Station’, which is a fundamental component of ‘Turtles’ SOS The Gambia’.
The ‘Station’ will provide a base for local community sensitization against poaching and potentially an alternative lucrative niche tourism product for Kartonkas and