Grand Béréby: contributing to marine protected area plans in Côte d'Ivoire

CEM (Conservation des Espèces Marines or Conservation of Marine Species) is an African-European NGO founded in 2015. Their primary objective is to protect marine turtles at Côte d´Ivoire, the Ivory Coast, in West Africa.

The 40km long coast is where the olive ridley, Lepidochelys olivacea, the leatherback, Dermochelys coriacea, and the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, successfully reproduce. CEM’s goal is to secure the remaining habitats along the coast for these turtles.

With the support of the local people and tourism industry a concrete plan has been put in place for the protection of the area; including its lagoons, mangroves, coastal rainforests, and beaches. The initiative began in 2012 with the support of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and has been growing ever since.

International travellers demonstrate the value sea turtles have; if they remain in their natural the landscapes. Tourism can provide revenue for local well-being, more revenue than removing, harvesting, and selling the limited amount of turtle eggs.

Education is a practical way to change behaviour. Farmers, and local fishermen especially, think about their goods and how to provide for their families. With education and time, one will understand that the animals they base their lives around will eventually not be around anymore if egg harvesting continues.

There is little understanding for nature conservation in Côte d´Ivoire. Subsequently, their natural landscape is diminishing. There is a promising concept however for sustainable management that provides both incomes for the local communities and securing the future of their sea turtles.

Protected areas preserve biodiversity. In some places, they’re also used to see how conservation is more financially beneficial than its antithesis. Politicians and civil service systems already understand this concept. Still, implementation is lacking.

Côte d´Ivoire exports many valuable minerals and agricultural products; such as coffee, cacao, palm oil, and pineapples all over the world. International support is needed. Developed countries are responsible for protecting resources and have a major influence on sustainable practices.

 Linking tourism and the sea turtle project, at Grand Béréby, is still in its infancy. The region is rich with beautiful beaches, unique landscapes, and picturesque views. There is a high potential for individual and nature-based tourism. They already have a strong motive to support establishing a protected coastal area.

On a voluntary and short-term basis, this protected area exist already. When the government approves the long-term plan and when practices are implemented on the ground, it will be an LT&C-Example, which could be profiled worldwide.

This example of the CEM-Project shows that already, with a tiny group of only 5 people, a larger population (ca. 3.000) can be reached to positively and voluntarily control a ca. 40km stretch of beach from turtle-egg harvesting.

It also shows that protecting a ~5.000 ha area is possible on a voluntary basis. Without the initiative and involvement of the local people, progress could not be made.

We can use this model as a reference for other areas. Tourism has been observed worldwide as a successful approach to protecting sea turtles.

An update in German: Meeresschutzgebiet Bericht 2018-2

The French version of the report can also be downloaded.

See also our news from October 2020: 

If you would like to support this project, please contact us:

Contact us

    By submitting this form you accept our current LT&C Privacy policy and that we may store use your contact information for the purpose of communicating with you.

Sign up now

Sign up for an LT&C membership by filling in the details below.

Make a donation

We are very grateful that you chose to donate to LT&C! We accept donations through PayPal or international bank transfer.

Alternative 1: Donate through Credit Card:

Please click the Donate button and then choose to use credit card

Alternative 2: Donate through PayPal (amount in Euro):

Please click the Donate button and then choose your PayPal account

PayPal Logo

Donate via Paypal

Alternative 3: Donate through international bank transfer

Bank details:
Cultura Sparebank
Pb. 6800, St. Olavs plass
N-0130 Oslo

Name: Linking Tourism & Conservation,
Account no.: 1254 05 95168
IBAN: NO8712540595168

Please mark payments with your name and/or email address

Add your LT&C-Example

Would you like your LT&C-Example/Initiative to be listed on our website? Please fill in the form below.

  • Would you like your LT&C example/initiative to be listed on our website? Please fill in the form below.
  • Please tell us about your LT&C example/initiative and how it fits with Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C)
  • Please elaborate on the following topics:
    a) Political/management support
    b) Financial support
    c) Educational support
  • Website with more information on the LT&C example/initiative
  • Please leave your contact details so that we can get in touch with you. This information will not be displayed on our website unless you ask us to.
  • By submitting this form you accept our current LT&C Privacy policy and that we may store and manage your contact information and that we may use the submitted material on our website.
  • Dieses Feld dient zur Validierung und sollte nicht verändert werden.