Local March 12, 2023 | 12:30 pm

Environment launches turtle season in Miches

To promote the conservation of sea turtles, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources initiated the season of this species with the launching event Tinglar (Leatherback) Miches 2023, in Limón beach, in this municipality of El Seibo province.

The Vice Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity, Federico Franco, emphasized that the initiative of the environmental governing body also seeks to serve as a link between the actors in the same turtle conservation work on the beaches of Miches and the Caribbean region.

“This event is being held for the second time, where more than 80 percent of the agencies, NGOs, Ministry technicians and organizations working on the turtle issue in the country will be present,” said the vice minister.

At the event, Costa Rican biologist Claudio Quesada gave a talk on the role of the State, civil society, and private investment in sea turtle conservation, according to his experiences in leading the Pacuare Reserve, a natural laboratory for conserving leatherback turtles in Costa Rica that serves as an open classroom for high school and university students on ecological issues.

Meanwhile, Yonattan Mercado, administrator of Protected Areas of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, pointed out during the launching that the Miches area is an important nesting site for the tinglar (leatherback), the largest sea turtle species and one that is in danger of extinction worldwide.

“The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, has been working tirelessly to protect the nesting sites of these turtles,” Mercado assured.

At the event, representatives of private companies in the area confirmed their commitment to sustainable tourism and biodiversity protection. Furthermore, they offered advances on the conservation initiatives that will be carried out during this season.

“Sea turtles are a vital component of marine ecosystems and play an important role in the balance of our oceans. Unfortunately, many sea turtle species face threats to their survival, such as habitat loss, climate change and poaching,” said CEPM’s Senior Manager of Communications & Shared Value, Helena Saenz.

“At CEPM, we have maintained a firm commitment to the environmental protection of the communities where we operate, and as part of our concession area, we are designing together with PROMICHES a wonderful project that will be implemented in Miches during this season with the objective of protecting these magnificent creatures and their habitat,” she said.

Saenz said the program would include monitoring and protecting the turtle nests, community awareness, education components, and scientific research.

Gustavo Román, executive director of PROMICHES, emphasized that “the presence of the leatherback turtle in Esmeralda and Miches beaches is an indicator of the health of the coastal system.”

“For PROMICHES, a commitment we have assumed since our creation in 2020 is to guarantee the conditions to ensure turtle nesting, achieving a correlation between the presence of this species in the area and the development of the tourism offer, promoting, through the development process, conservation work,” asserted Román.

About the turtle nesting season
The turtle nesting season runs from March to September each year, marking an exciting time for all involved. More than a hundred attendees from the Michoacán community, NGOs, media, representatives of private companies, and national and international environmentalists attended the event, which was used to alert the public to report any sightings of turtles or nests on the beach during this period.

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