A Discussion Group was formed in December 2015 for the purpose of exchanging ideas on operationalising the IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network. More than a dozen members have now been identified for eight of the 10 participating sites. One of the members – Clément Quétel, working in France’s Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF) – has described the Group’s purpose very well:
“This type of initiative is indeed an effective tool to facilitate communication within the network. This group will encourage experience-sharing and regional cooperation, increase the coherence of actions in the Indian Ocean for marine turtles, and put in touch the various organisations involved in the conservation of these species. These exchanges will be also an opportunity to identify more easily the financing sources, institutional or by sponsorship.”
Early discussions within the Group have focused on: the need for official certification for each of the Network Sites, exchanging ideas about the design elements that ought to be incorporated into physical sign boards to be produced for each site, and summarising the key attributes of each site for the purpose of identifying common themes and opportunities for collaboration.
The Secretariat has prepared beautiful A3-size framed certificates for each Network Site. Click to view the certificates for South Africa's iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Seychelles' Aldabra Atoll. It's hoped
that authorties will consider using the certificates in commemorative events that will serve to draw attention to the special attributes of each site.
Ideas have also been exchanged about the elements that ought to be featured on outdoor sign boards designed for public viewing at Network Sites, including: target messages; factual information in appropriate languages, together with images and maps; instructions aimed at influencing visitor behaviour, in the form of "Do and Don'ts"; and contact details for responsible authorities, logos etc.
Click to read the Profile of the Month for May 2016:
Towards operationalising the IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network
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IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network - Discussion Group Membership
** Pending official confirmation from BMB-Phillippines