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ResilienSEA in Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde is an archipelago of ten volcanic islands, located 570 km off the West African coast. The archipelago is home to a multitude of species. Cabo Verde is a key area for birds with many of them being endemic. It is also the third world’s largest nesting site for sea turtles. The country’s rich environment reflects its unique history and diversity.

Because of the harshness of the climate and topography, agriculture has hardly developed. Likewise, the use of fisheries is somewhat limited. The vast majority of the population is urban and concentrated on Sao Tiago Island. Yet, Cabo Verdean strongly rely on their environment. The large population of endemic species and sea turtles prompted the development of tourism which became the main driver for economic growth. Moreover, most of human activities are located in low-lying coastal areas which highlights the importance of healthy coastal and marine environments.

Cabo Verde is located at the biogeographic transition where temperate and tropical species could potentially meet. The conservation of seagrass meadows can play a significant role in preserving Cabo Verde’s rich biodiversity and coasts. As such it is part of the country’s international commitment to preserve biological diversity (Convention on Biological Diversity). To date, it exists 46 Protected Areas and 3 Marine Managed Areas. Yet, the state of seagrass in Cabo Verde is practically unknown. The project ResilienSEA builds on the need to further research in order to improve their protection.

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