The Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation and Management Trust (KESCOM) is a non-profit making organization registered under the Kenyan Registrar of Societies. It was established in 1993 (as the Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee-KESCOM) following increased reports of turtle mortalities caused by illegal poaching of turtle eggs, meat and threats from tourism. KESCOM officially changed its status to a Trust in 2009.
KESCOM is currently a recognized umbrella body of stakeholders involved in sea turtle conservation in Kenya. KESCOM has helped establish community based turtle conservation groups (TCGs) which are involved in sea turtle education and awareness, sea turtle activity monitoring, beach clean ups, habitat rehabilitation through involvement of local fisher communities and schools.
Annually, over 50% of KESCOM’s budget is allocated to education and awareness activities. KESCOM coordinates some TCG activities and undertakes education, awareness and advocacy as its mainstream activities. Notable among the policy changes that KESCOM has participated in include the Wildlife Policy, the Fisheries Policy and the ICZM policy. Education and awareness/advocacy information continues to be disseminated through organized meetings, lectures, informal meetings, the production and distribution of awareness materials including T-shirts, education and awareness campaign manuals, posters and brochures, newsletters as well as through this website and our blog (www.seaturtle.wildlifedirect.org) as well as the monthly newsletter, the Jambo Kasa. The target groups have been the fisher communities, boat operators, tourists, school children, resource managers and policy makers.
This awareness has led to increased support of sea turtle conservation through community action and establishment of a strong network that brings together various government institutions, individuals, organizations and community based turtle conservation groups. Through these systems, were also able to reach areas not yet covered.
Conservation of sea turtles and their habitats along the Kenyan coast
To advance sea turtle conservation and management in Kenya through stakeholder involvement, research, information and awareness
In an effort to realize the overall goal of ensuring sustainable levels of sea turtle populations and promoting the wise use of marine resources, KESCOM seeks to fulfill the following broad action areas;
- Develop and implementing awareness and research programs on sea turtles in Kenya
- Build local capacity, encouraging and enhancing the participation of social actors and community groups to facilitate the effective management and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats in Kenya
- Liaise with conservation partners at the national, regional as well as the international level to promote the conservation of sea turtles.
- Use lessons and experiences learnt in Kenya and elsewhere to develop a national strategy for sea turtle conservation and management in Kenya
How do we work?
KESCOM adopts a community-based approach in its activities. Through our support, over 16 Turtle Conservation Groups (TCGs) with a membership of over 600 local volunteers have been formed, covering over 51 % of the Kenya coastline.
These volunteers spend hours patrolling, cleaning and conserving beaches and sea turtle natural habitats. Other activities include in-situ nest protection, tagging and release programs, habitat rehabilitation through mangrove replanting as well as public education and awareness programs.
We work through these groups and local communities to implement projects covering the different thematic areas including Research, Conservation Education, Community Mobilization and Ecotourism.
KESCOM is run by the following board of trustees:
1. Nyawira Muthiga
2. Gladys Okemwa
4. Steve Trott
5 Dr. Rene Haller
6. Ali Kaka
7. Julie Church
Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation and Management Trust (KESCOM)
P. O. Box 58-80122, Mombasa.
© KESCOM 2010