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FMB Maio

Volunteer to protect turtles with Fundação Maio Biodiversidade


Enable a sustainable development of Maio and protect its biodiversity


Rocio Moreno



Maio, Cape Verde



Sustainable development for Maio, based on biodiversity conservation and the well-being of its communities. Conservation on every level together with people.

Our Impact

We promote sustainable development in Maio. The protection of the environment and the conservation of natural resources and ecosystems.


Our story

Established in 2010, the goal of the foundation was to protect the unique fauna and flora of the island and at the same time create opportunities and long-term benefits for the people of Maio.

What we do

We promote sustainable development in Maio. The protection of the environment and the conservation of natural resources and ecosystems. We do this through our community work (education, involving local fisherman), research programs and homestay/ecoguide program. We work closely with local authorities and monitor current activities. At our heart we promote endogenous economic alternatives related to conservation.


„Conservation is not possible without people”

  • This year we celebrate our 10 year anniversary.

  • Our Guardians of the Sea (local fishermen involved in this scheme carry out participatory monitoring of marine megafauna and illegal activities in Maio) carry out around 500 trips.

  • By mid-2019, around 1391 students from Maio had the opportunity to participate in FMB’s Nature School initiative.

  • In 2019, FMB carried out 12 inspection trips with the Maritime Police.

Turtle populations are rising
  • Poaching levels of nesting turtles have gone from 43% (when FMB first started) to just 1.9% last year (2019).
  • Every year we organize the night time patrol for all of the turtle nesting beaches in Maio (38km), lasting the whole turtle season.

  • Each year we employ around 90 local people who are involved in our turtle protection program.


Donate directly to FMB Maio


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Money, we receive is used for

Donations are used for a variety of things, all contributing very valuably to our conservation projects:

  • bicycles for turtle patrol guards
  • equipment for beach cleaning campaigns
  • rent for workshop space
  • printing information about protected areas, scientific research equipment
  • staff salaries
  • fuel for joint patrols with the national police
  • money for community groups aiding in turtle patrols; hatchery building materials.
Our current project

Rather than one big project we have several ongoing projects.

  • The main one of which is our turtle protection project. Under the turtle protection project. This includes direct patrolling of beaches; beach cleaning campaigns and our Homestay project (with the female heads of households in Maio). We also have education and outreach campaigns and support for alternative livelihoods such as eco-tourism.
  • Other projects include our marine and terrestrial project, which includes monitoring the islands fauna and flora, as well as protected area management in collaboration with local authorities. We do research within protected areas, for example our long-standing Kentish plover monitoring. The Guardians of the Sea initiative (participatory patrols with local fishermen) and many other initiatives.

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Volunteer with FMB to protect turtles

Check out their website for specific offers here

Kathrin David Portrait Sonnenlicht Feld Köln

Who visited the project personally?

Kathrin visited FMB in May 2018. She had the opportunity to join a turtle patrol, stayed in one of the homestays and to speak with Rocio Moreno, the director of the foundation. The conversation and the work of FMB deeply inspired her and made her see the value of community based conservation work for the first time.

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