On the networks side: RASTOMA
From November 27th to December 2nd, 2017, some 40 marine turtle conservation stakeholders gathered with the support of the PPI in Kribi, Cameroon, to participate in the second RASTOMA Regional Congress. Leaders of civil society organizations in Central Africa, academics, international experts, public and private decision-makers met to think collectively about marine turtle conservation issues in Central Africa.
This gathering enabled RASTOMA members to draw up a long-term joint regional strategy based on (1) the building and animation of a global system of collecting, gathering and data valorization, and (2) the strategies elaboration for actions of the civil society in close connection with government commitments.
For about thirty years, marine turtle conservation actions have been carried out by civil society organizations along the coast of Central Africa. In the early 2010s, field actors came together to create a regional network to share their knowledge, techniques and expertise to protect marine turtle populations and their habitats more effectively and sustainably.
Thanks to the support of the PPI and IUCN, this dynamic materialized through the operation of the network in 2012, now present in the 6 countries of the region with a coast on the Atlantic: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (including the Bioko island), the islands of Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Congo and the DRC.
RASTOMA is currently a network of 9 civil society organizations and about 20 individual members working across the Atlantic coast of Central Africa to develop synergies between network members and to strengthen their capacity and influence to achieve sustainable conservation of marine turtles and their habitats in Central Africa.
At the Congress, 3 new organizations announced their intention to join the network.
The network was created by field actors to meet their needs for cohesion and to become a visible and recognized interlocutor with the institutions. It is based on democratic governance: each member is an actor in the life of the network and participates in decisions.
To draw the future, each member is invited to express their expectations of RASTOMA and thus the contributions of each combine to achieve a collective vision shared by all members of the network. Decision-making is highly participatory, this dimension being an integral part of the network’s philosophy: ‘Together we can achieve much more!’