FORA.tv Speaker - John Denham
John Denham has spent more than two decades protecting Costa Rica's turtles. When he first traveled there he saw leatherbacks on the edge of extinction on the Pacific Coast and green turtles endangered on the Caribbean coast. "Poachers roamed freely along the beaches, killing turtles and robbing eggs from nests," he recalls. With a commitment to conservation, this prompted John to take action.
In 1989, John bought 2,000 acres of coastal forest with a goal of protecting nearly four miles of turtle-nesting beach. When he established The Pacuare Nature Reserve nearly every turtle nest was pilfered by poachers and green turtles were being slaughtered. Today, 24-hour patrolling has reduced poaching to 2 percent and the forest is rich in wildlife, with over 30 mammal species and a bird list of 230.
John and his wife, Hilda, travel from London to Costa Rica to lobby for local support for sustainable policies and to engage local schools in educational missions. Staff biologists study the reserve's ecosystem, volunteers plant trees and join night patrols, and school groups bunk in rustic cabanas and count hatchlings as they race from their nests to the sea.
02.06.14 | 00:28:32 min
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