The Hawaii Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, Guatemala
Widespread community engagement in a scheme based on the sustainable harvesting of sea turtle eggs in Guatemala has contributed to a conservation success story in spite of a lack of government resources and weak legislation.
Conservation of Sea Turtles in Guatemala is almost entirely dependent on an informal system of egg donation to a network of hatcheries. Eggs may only be taken from olive ridley turtle nests, and collectors must donate 20 per cent of their harvest to the hatcheries. Taking the eggs of all other species, and any adult turtles is banned.
In the context of high rates of poverty in coastal communities in Guatemala, turtle eggs are important for subsistence, and prized by locals as a supplement to their income and diets.
This case study was originally prepared as a background document for the symposium “Beyond enforcement: Communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating wildlife crime”, held in South Africa from 26 to 28 February 2015.
The case study was originally published as part of the compilation Conservation, crime and communities, published by IIED (2015) http://pubs.iied.org/14648IIED (ISBN: 978-1-78431-140-7)