Cruzinha da Garça is one of the most important nesting grounds for sea turtles in Cape Verde. The Community Marine Association of Cruzinha da Garça seeks to develop alternative forms of local marine resource use to conserve this endangered species. The project is part of a regional initiative that involves fishing communities in the conservation of marine turtles and their habitat. Conservation and sustainable livelihoods work extends to the islands of São Nicolau, Santo Antao and Sao Vicente. The association protects spawning loggerhead sea turtles in their natural habitats through beach monitoring, protecting the nesting grounds of the loggerhead sea turtles, and guarding against sand extraction and resulting habitat loss. The local population is engaged in data collection on both species and population growth and is involved in the development of ecotourism ventures.
The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.