What is the LaudOPO Network?…
The Laúd OPO Network has roots back to 2012 when more than thirty researchers, NGOs, and experts from the region came together to develop an action plan to stabilize and recover the East Pacific leatherback population within ten years. Since it was established officially in 2015, the Network has grown to include over sixty members from more than 10 countries from Chile to the U.S.A. We meet regularly to collaborate and share information, best practices, results of our research, and conservation strategies.
Laúd OPO’s mission is to coordinate and strengthen regional efforts among network partners to recovery critically endangered leatherbacks in the East Pacific Ocean region.
History and Mission of the Eastern Pacific Leatherback Conservation Network
Conservation of leatherback turtles in the Eastern Pacific has been carried out for more than 25 years, when conservation and monitoring projects were initiated on nesting beaches, mainly in Mexico and Costa Rica. Since then, the number of projects, organizations, and individuals has grown tremendously. Today, there are hundreds of people working in the research and/or conservation of leatherback turtles in all countries of the Americas, from Chile in the south to the United States in the north.
The scientific knowledge that researchers and organizations have been able to obtain about the biology of leatherback turtles in the East Pacific seems to be among the largest that exists for any other sea turtle population in the world. This knowledge has supported the development and implementation of numerous conservation and management projects in many sites throughout the region.
However, despite the great conservation and research effort at local, national, and regional levels, the leatherback population in the East Pacific has continued to decline. Therefore, a new effort was initiated to coordinate and integrate the people and projects of the region – now formally named La Red de Conservación de la Laud en el Océano Pacífico Oriental (Red Laúd OPO or the Eastern Pacific Leatherback Conservation Network) – to focus efforts to achieve population recovery. The Network intends to be a technical network, and its main goal is to strengthen the support, coordination, and collaboration of efforts towards the conservation of leatherback turtles at the regional level.
Currently, the Network is made up of individuals and organizations that work with the leatherback turtle as well as other species of sea turtles in the East Pacific region. The collaborators develop valuable conservation projects, an important collection of scientific literature, and have consolidated the leatherback turtles as priorities in the agenda of marine conservation in the East Pacific.
Criteria for Members
Members can be individuals and/or organizations, but there are certain criteria that members must meet:
- Be recognized within your community by being recommended by a member of the Laúd OPO Network.
- To be working or having a background in the work of conservation of leatherback turtles in the East Pacific, or an individual working directly with leatherbacks, or organization or institution of the governments of the region, whose actions in any way influence leatherback conservation.
- Commit to providing information on leatherback turtles, either on leatherback research, or on conservation efforts being undertaken.
- Having reliable access to an email account to ensure efficient communication between members of the Laúd OPO Network.
- To promote the activities of the Laúd OPO Network and its objectives in one’s region of work, as well as to international entities and bodies.
- Be respectful and comply with the agreements and norms established within the Laúd OPO Network.