The conservation mosaic is a model program for social change and the protection of highly migratory species. The goal is to reduce poaching and bycatch of endangered sea turtles. Preliminary results indicate positive changes in partner communities, increased numbers of sea turtles on nesting beaches and foraging grounds, and an emerging “sea ethic.” Over the past decade we have developed this approach to sea turtle conservation in the Californias (U.S. and Mexico) through the integration of three strategies: 1) facilitate the growth of a diverse international NETWORK of fishermen, students, teachers, activists, researchers, funders, managers, indigenous community members and other coastal citizens. 2) draw on these relationships to understand threats, generate new KNOWLEDGE and develop practical solutions. 3) empower local leaders to facilitate COMMUNICATION and sharing of these solutions and knowledge through an array of resonant media. The novelty, simplicity and effectiveness of our methodology is based on in an integrated, innovative approach informed by regular evaluation and monitoring. We have adapted and exported the conservation mosaic model to community-based projects focused on leatherback turtle conservation in Indonesia and shark conservation in the eastern Pacific, among other projects. However, the model should prove useful across the range of conservation and social change issues.
This paper is Part one of a 4-part series of papers/posters...the other three parts highlight in detail each of the three components of the conservation mosaic model and provide detailed case studies related to the work of the Grupo Tortuguero in the ETP.