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Biosfera 1 - Newsletter 1 st Trimester 2018_2 nd Series The texts of this issue have been prepared in partnership with Association of Environmental Defence

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Biosfera 1 - Newsletter

1st Trimester 2018_2nd Series

The texts of this issue have been prepared in partnership with

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1. A message from the president --------------------------------------------------page 2

2. The time has come! The Raso Lark arrived to Santa Luzia ------------------page 3

3. Biosfera 1 is the winner of a Go WAMER award ----------------------------page 5

4. Tommy Melo: “Courageous, patriotic and passionate” ----------------------page 6

5. Biosfera 1, the national operator of the Blue Flag program ----------------page 7

6. Pandion haliaetus – Discovering the secrets of Cape Verdean “Guinchos”-page 9

7. Desertas - Sustainable Management of the Santa Luzia Marine Reserve--page 10

8. Try to distinguish the Portuguese Caravels from plastic---------------------page 12

News Index

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Contacts

Partnership

"Para Onde?" is a non-profit organization whose main goal is to promotevolunteering and active citizenship at a national and international level.With headquarters in Lisbon, the organization is supported by UNESCO.During the year of 2018, Biosfera 1 will welcome 2 volunteers every monthto support the implementation of several ongoing projects.

[email protected]

/ONGBiosfera1/

[email protected]

(+238) 2317929/ 9844447

Rua Moçambique, nª 28, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cabo Verde

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A message from the president

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In Cape Verde it has been no different, the struggle that was once led by a

handful of people, now involve a battalion of interested citizens who are

actively engaged in Environmental Conservation.

The struggle for Environmental

Conservation, worldwide, has gained

many fans, as people are beginning to

grasp the enormous impact we have on

this planet, and how this is directly

reflected on the population´s quality of

life, such has:

- the air we breathe;

- the quality of the food we eat (food security);

- the availability of clean water;

- the several social, cultural and economic impacts;

- visual impacts at the landscape level.

Tommy MeloExecutive director and President

Biosfera 1 NGO

We cannot continue to profit on behalf of everyone´s survival. Tomorrow

will be a reflection of our current actions and the awakening of this

common and universal consciousness, is what motivates and strengthens

us. Biosfera 1 is no longer a group of people with random ideas, but an

echo that carries the message and the will of many. We were here

yesterday, we are here now and we will continue to grow and defend

what belongs to everyone.

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The Raso Lark, Alauda razae, is considered one of the rarest bird species in

the world, since it can only be found in the 7 km2 of Raso Islet, which has

given its name. Due to their extremely limited distribution, this bird species

is in critical danger of extinction.

Raso Lark population numbers varies greatly depending on the occurrence

of rain in the islet. In years of drought, their numbers plunged to only a few

tens individuals, but in years were it rains, it surpasses many thousands.

Since this islet does not have any predators such as cats, mice or even cattle

that would trample their nests on the ground, the Lark managed to survive

on this small piece of land, while in the neighboring islands (Santa Luzia for

example) it could no resist the arrival of Man and their domesticated

animals.

The Raso Lark is being studied for more than ten years by Dr. Michael

Brooke, a researcher from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

that has been collecting detailed data on genetics, behavior and general

biology of the species.

The time has come! The Raso Lark arrived to Santa Luzia

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Now that the time has come, during phase II of the project now funded by

MAVA Foundation, more than 30 individuals of Raso Larks were successfully

translocated to Santa Luzia island in a comprehensive operation, involving all

project partners, the media and several individual experts. To watch the

translocation event TV news, click here.

In the near future, monitoring of the newly established and original

population will continue on both islands, as a way to assess any further

threats that may arise.

For 3 years, Biosfera 1 in collaboration with Dr. Brooke and other

international partner organizations such as RSPB (The Royal Society for

the Protection of Birds) and SPEA (Portuguese Society for the Study of

Birds), studied the viability of translocating a few number of Raso Lark

individuals from Raso islet to the neighbor and much bigger island of

Santa Luzia, as a way to reduce the species vulnerability to extinction.

The entire ecosystem of the two islands was studied in detail, the bird and

reptile populations, plant species and mammal pest invaders were monitored

to provide a general picture of the intricate complexity and natural

population fluctuations of the island species, in a project funded by CEPF

(Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund).

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Biosfera 1 is the winner of a Go WAMER prize

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Go WAMER is a program co-funded by the European Union (EU) and Regional

Partnership for Coastal and Marine Conservation (PRCM) that aims to

improve the management of the marine resources in seven countries of this

region (Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone

and Cape Verde).

The activities under this program are EU-funded and coordinated by the

United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with budgets around 10.5

million EUR. These activities are thereby implemented at national and

regional level, in a partnership with the national authorities and regional

organizations of each country. In 2018 and among many other organizations,

Biosfera 1 was recognized for their work in promoting the sustainable use and

conservation of species of the Protected Marine Area of Santa Luzia.

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Tommy Melo: “Courageous, patriotic and passionate”

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Tommy Melo name has recently came up on a list of personalities, whose

merit was recognized by a panel of specialists such as Stephanie Hubold of the

Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Lukas Indermaur of WWF Switzerland.

The current president of Biosfera 1 is considered as one of West Africa's

youngest environmental leaders, whose passion and dedication in his work,

have been formally recognized this year by MAVA Foundation.

The MAVA Foundation was created in 1994 with a mission to support

conservation projects, aiming for a future where biodiversity flourishes in line

with prosper human societies. Biosfera 1 shares the same vision and as a

result, MAVA Foundation is currently one of our main partners.

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Biosfera 1, the national operator of the Blue Flagprogram

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The Blue Flag program is present in 45 countries and recognized worldwide

by millions of people as an eco-label. This program, operated by the

Foundation for Environment and Education (FEE), accredits the quality of

beaches, boat marinas and marine operators, based on a series of

environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.

Since December of 2017, Biosfera 1 has been an official member and the

national operator of all FEE programs and hence open to receive

applications from local authorities. The application process includes the

evaluation by a national jury, that once approved, will continue the follow-

up during a second evaluation by an international jury for their final

classification.

(Continues…)

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The Blue Flag program will start in Cape

Verde with a pilot project on the beach of

Santa Maria in Sal island, therefore Biosfera

1 is already preparing all the necessary

requirements.

To achieve this goal, the project has already the

support of the Cape Verde Tourism City Council and

Sal Municipality, as well as the Government of Cape

Verde support, through the Ministry of Marine

Economy and the Ministry of Tourism and

Transportation.

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Pandion haliaetus – Discovering the secrets of Cape Verdean “Guinchos”

Since the beginning of 2017, Biosfera 1 team is in the field, specifically in

the islands of São Vicente, Santa Luzia and surrounding islets, to monitor

the breeding behavior of Guincho (Pandion haliaetus), in a partnership with

Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and other non-governmental

associations in Cape Verde. The study aims to estimate the Guincho

population across the islands of Cape Verde, by identifying nest location,

nest status (active and inactive), number of fledglings (chicks) and updating

the number of individuals in Cape Verde. From the survey done in 2017, 13

nests of Guincho were identified, from which 5 were active (with offspring)

and 8 inactive.

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Over the years, there has been a population decline due to the

anthropogenic activities (human action) and a significant difference in

the type of materials this species use to build their nests. In the past,

Guinchos used organic material such as algae, wood sticks and fish

bones, while currently nests are built with several types of plastics,

strings and fishing material. This large difference is upsetting and a

clear reflection of the marine pollution that

surrounds their habitat.

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ence Since the beginning of 2017, Biosfera 1 team is in the field, specifically in

the islands of São Vicente, Santa Luzia and surrounding islets, to monitor

the breeding behavior of Guincho (Pandion haliaetus), in a partnership with

Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and other non-governmental

associations in Cape Verde. The study aims to estimate the Guincho

population across the islands of Cape Verde, by identifying nest location,

nest status (active and inactive), number of fledglings (chicks) and updating

the number of individuals in Cape Verde. From the survey done in 2017, 13

nests of Guincho were identified, from which 5 were active (with offspring)

and 8 inactive.

Over the years, there has been a population decline due to the

anthropogenic activities (human action) and a significant difference in

the type of materials this species use to build their nests. In the past,

Guinchos used organic material such as algae, wood sticks and fish

bones, while currently nests are built with several types of plastics,

strings and fishing material. This large difference is upsetting and a

clear reflection of the marine pollution that

surrounds their habitat.

Desertas - Sustainable Management of the Santa LuziaMarine Reserve

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Within project “Desertas - Sustainable Management of the Santa Luzia

Marine Reserve”, a partnership with BirdLife International, the Portuguese

Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA) and the National Directorate of

Environment (DNA), in early March, three specialists from Madeira and

Canary Islands, arrived to evaluate and follow-up the ongoing activities. Dr.

Paulo Oliveira, Vice-President of the Institute of Forests and Nature

Conservation of Madeira, Dr. Manuel Nogales, Director of IPNA-CSIC Research

Institute and Dr. Felix Medina, specialist in tropic ecology of felines, visited

Santa Luzia Marine Reserve to pass on their expertise to our field teams.

Besides the field activities, Dr. Paulo Oliveira gave an interview to the

project's official radio, Radio Morabeza, where he explained how Marine

Reserves like Santa Luzia and Tourism activity are not irreconcilable by

keeping the rules clear. To listen to this interview and to know more, click on

the following links: interview and report.

(Continues…)

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During their visit, the University of Cape Verde kindly welcomed the entire

team for a training and briefing session about “Ecotourism in Marine

Reserves” and “Invasive species ecology, surveillance and sustainability

systems”. Attending this meeting were also several university experts, our

project partners and representatives of the local Marine Police and Coastal

Guard.

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With a 3 years duration, this project benefits from the financial support of

MAVA Foundation - Foundation for Nature.

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During our field activities on the island of Santa Luzia, Biosfera 1 visited the

“Achados” beach, which is known for the tremendous amount of plastic

garbage from different origins that pile up along the coast. Among the typical

coastal pollution, hundreds of Portuguese Caravels (Physalia physalis) were

barely distinguishable from the many thousands of stranded plastic bags.

This makes us realize that if we already have difficulty on distinguishing this

marine animal from plastic bags or bottles, what will a sea turtle do when

coming across these type of objects in the sea?? They will surely eat them, of

course!

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Try to distinguish the Portuguese Caravels from plastic

It is therefore essential to rethink our actions on a daily basis and how they

directly affect the environment around us. Bare in mind this message every

time you buy a bottle of water, or use a simple plastic bag to go shopping.

YOUR ACTION MATTERS!

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Sponsors:

Editors:

Graphic Design: Nathalie Melo Texts: Volunteers of the Association “Para Onde?” and Catelene MonteiroReview and Coordination: Patrícia Rendall RochaPhotographs: Biosfera 1, Madalena Boto, tripadviser, Sea Shepherd

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