Poverty, protection... and turtles


When we visited islands in Indonesia, investigating how turtles could be protected, the word "protection" rang hollow. The problem is poverty. As long as such poverty exists, arguments for turtle protection are meaningless. Turtles caught for food can be seen everywhere, and 99% of eggs are taken and sold on the streets. After much consideration, we made the decision to pay the people who'd been taking turtle eggs the market value of the eggs, and to leave the eggs to hatch. We understand the criticisms of this method. Nevertheless, taking account of both human poverty and turtle protection, as well as the actual situation in Indonesia, we decided to put this method into practice. Environmental protection in the midst of poverty is a difficult issue.