The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) is an international scientific network founded in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) in 1981 to ensure the survival of six Caribbean sea turtle species. WIDECAST is a Regional Activity Network of the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, and is comprised of more than 60 Country Coordinators resident in more than 40 Caribbean nations and territories. Each Country Coordinator works closely with an active national coalition of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, including scientists, natural resource managers, conservationists, policy‑makers, educators and others.
Emphasizing initiatives that strengthen capacity within participating countries and institutions, the network develops and replicates pilot projects, provides technical assistance, enables coordination in the collection, sharing and use of information and data, and promotes strong links between science, policy, and public participation in the design and implementation of conservation actions. Finally, working closely with local communities and resource managers, the network develops standard management guidelines and criteria that designed to ensure that current utilization practices, whether consumptive or non-consumptive, do not undermine the sustained survival of the region’s sea turtle populations.
Because of its decentralized structure and the active participation of colleagues throughout the region, WIDECAST is uniquely able to facilitate complementary conservation action across range States, including strengthening legislation, encouraging community involvement, and raising public awareness. As a result, most Caribbean nations have adopted a national sea turtle management plan, poaching and illegal product sales have been dramatically reduced or eliminated at key sites, many of the region’s largest breeding colonies are protected by law and monitored on an annual basis, alternative livelihood models are increasingly available for rural areas, and citizens are mobilized in support of conservation action.
The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) is an international scientific network founded in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) in 1981 to ensure the survival of six Caribbean sea turtle species. WIDECAST is a Regional…