For the past three years now, Equestrio Foundation has been supporting Plantons Utile in its actions to safeguard biodiversity in Casamance, Senegal. The association is overflowing with projects and, for this 3rd year running, it’s the sea turtles that are the focus of all our attention. Read all about it here!


Casamance for real!

You know us well, we’ve been keeping abreast of everything underway at the Plantons Utile agroecological farm in Casamance (and so have you!). But in October 2023, we actually went to the field to shoot an episode of EF in Action and spend two weeks volunteering alongside Clément Sambou and Quentin Lemetais (the founders), and the local people working there.


At the heart of ecological intelligence

Here, we discovered first-hand the 50 acres of pure ecological intelligence: mixed farming and agroforestry areas, a botanical garden, beehives, spaces dedicated to entrepreneurs and training, an eco-village… a unique place where we’ve been able to see the tangible impact of our funding, but also the work still ahead to regernerate this region, which is as incredible as it is fragile. In these special moments, our support took on its full meaning.

Saving sea turtles from extinction

Supporting the Kalissaye Ornithological Reserve

After contributing over the last two years to various initiatives to develop the farm’s infrastructure, reforest the area (particularly the mangrove swamps) and raise awareness of ecological issues among the local population, we have decided to fund a new project in 2023 aimed at protecting the sea turtles of the Kalissaye Ornithological Reserve.

At first glance, this protected area, with its maze of sandbanks, lagoons, mangroves and forest islets, might appear to be a veritable haven for marine turtles And yet, as in many parts of the world, they are on the verge of extinction. The cause? As in many other parts of the world also, climate change and human activity.

The damage caused by human activity to our ecosystems

In response to the decline in agricultural productivity, local populations have developed a number of practices that are detrimental to our ecosystems, such as fishing, poaching turtles and harvesting their eggs. In addition, the region is considerably impacted by pollution, invasion of plastic waste, as well as the deforestation of mangroves, which are essential for preventing the coastal erosion which reduces nesting space for turtles.



A 3rd year of support

A part of our funding of CHF 11,687 in 2023 contributed to the identification and protection of turtle nests thanks to more than ten gabions, as well as to the geolocation of the animals. Thousands of turtle eggs have been safeguarded through this project. During our visit to the Kalissaye reserve, we were lucky enough to witness the effectiveness of this initiative following the hatching of almost 200 turtles, which the teams took great care of until they reached the sea and swam towards new horizons.

Equestrio Foundation’s support also enabled the reforestation of 300,000m2 of mangroves, with 150,000 trees planted in the Thiobon, Diouloulou and Abéné marine protected areas.

We are proud to support this association and its wonderful projects, which are all part of a coherent effort to breathe new life into this beautiful region. Now, let’s set our sights on the years to come!


Photos: Zoé Bouillet

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