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Newsletter from the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU Secretariat
 
Looking Back on the “Anniversary Year”
 
As 2021 draws to a close, we use this second newsletter of the year to give a glimpse of activities of the Secretariat and our partners since June, and to highlight some contributions sent from around the region.
 
This year, the MOU celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and it has indeed proven a year in which special efforts for marine turtle conservation in the IOSEA region were made. From a major online outreach event in June involving many friends and partners in 20 countries, to meetings of three of the four sub-regions of the MOU area, to many activities of the Advisory Committee, including their first official intersessional meeting, progress was made in many areas.
 
As is always the case, not all of our plans and hopes for the year 2021 were realised, so the Secretariat and Advisory Committee of the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU definitely have their work cut out for the coming months. We will continue working on the many initiatives started but not yet completed (please see here for a recent update on progress with the implementation of the Work Programme 2020-2024), including the development of a capacity-building strategy, and work on a survey to review the performance of the MOU since its establishment.
 
We know that many of you, whether working for government, in the field or elsewhere, have continued to face even greater struggles than normal with the ongoing pandemic. We hope that for you this year will come to a peaceful conclusion, and wish you, your loved ones, and the turtles all the very best for the year 2022!
MOU NEWS

Flatback Turtle Known Since 1974 Illustrates Importance of Long-term Monitoring for Conservation

The longest-studied Flatback Turtle has returned to one of Australia's key nesting beaches. Known as X23103, this flatback was first flipper-tagged at the nesting beach "Mon Repos" (Queensland, Australia) in 1974.
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Northern Indian Ocean Marine Turtle Task Force Concludes Meeting Cycle in the Anniversary Year

On 13-14 December 2021, the Northern Indian Ocean Marine Turtle Task Force held its third meeting online, with participation of all five countries of the sub-region.
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North-Western Indian Ocean Sub-Regional Meeting Identifies Joint Opportunities for Marine Turtle Conservation

On 29 November 2021, the first ever Meeting of the North-Western Indian Ocean held independently of a Meeting of Signatory States convened online.
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IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU to participate in the Sea Turtle Talks on Twitter

On Tuesday, 14 September 2021, the IOSEA Secretariat participated in the Twitter Sea Turtle Talks, and shared information on the topic "20 Years of Sea Turtle Conservation in the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia Region". 
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“Turtle TV” from 20 Countries Available on “World Sea Turtle Day 2021” YouTube Playlist

With programmes from 20 countries, on 16 and 19 June 2021 the IOSEA region celebrated World Sea Turtle Day, the 20th Anniversary of the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU and the fascinating world of marine turtles. 
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NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION

Assessment of Key Threats to Marine Turtles at the Hawkse Bay Beach of Karachi and Preliminary Survey of Illegal Trade

Pakistan has prominent turtle nesting beaches along its coastline. A research study assessed the threats to nesting habitat, and systematic surveys were conducted to address illegal trade. 
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Sea Turtles of Qatar - Conservation Status Update

This news story provides an update on the conservation efforts of the region, which targeted  green turtles, hawksbill turtles, olive ridley turtles, and loggerhead turtles.  
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The First Population Study on Foraging Green Turtle in the Northern Persian Gulf and Oman Sea Reveals High Genetic Diversity

A four-year study was conducted on foraging green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Northern Persian Gulf and Oman Sea to describe population structure, distribution, habitat preferences, and genetic structure.
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In-Water Monitoring of Juvenile Green Turtles at Al Qurm Reserve: A Unique Development Area for Turtles in the United Arab Emirates

The Al Qurm in-water monitoring, research and conservation programme for marine turtles was established in 2020, making it the only ongoing monitoring programme in the UAE focusing on the surveying of turtles at feeding grounds.
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Launch of Interactive Atlas “TurtleNet”: A Milestone in Marine Turtle Conservation

On the occasion of World Sea Turtle Day 2021, “TurtleNet”, an interactive atlas that shows nesting, courtship, feeding and migration routes of marine turtles, was launched.
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New free web-TV series explores breath-taking marine environment of Borneo

Scubazoo Images released their latest new series: ‘Borneo Ocean Diaries’, which features Alex Alexander diving into the surrounding oceans to explore this equally bio-diverse and breath-taking marine environment.
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Please Send Contributions to Future Newsletters!
 
If you would like your projects and activities relating to marine turtle conservation in the Indian Ocean South-East Asia region featured, please send us a brief text (preferably between 200 and 800 words), with at least one related high-quality picture in landscape format that we are allowed to publish, any relevant links, and the name and/or the organization of the author. If possible, your submission should be in English. If needed, however, the Secretariat can help with translating from French. 
 
We publish on the website regularly and plan to be sending the newsletter periodically; accordingly, input is welcome at any time. What you highlight in your submission could be a description of your recent, current or even planned activities related to the objectives of the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU, announcements relevant for marine turtle conservation in the IOSEA region, or any results you wish to share with the IOSEA community, including the Signatory States.
 
More submissions mean we can publish the Newsletter more frequently. We are looking forward to receiving your contribution!
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IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU Secretariat 
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IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU Secretariat · UN Campus · Platz Der Vereinten Nationen 1 · Bonn 53113 · Germany

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