East Timor hatches plan for turtle tourism

By Adrienne Francis

The East Timorese Government says a new responsible tourism campaign could help pull parts of the country out of poverty.

Successful turtle conservation projects have been running in Bali and Costa Rica for almost two decades.

The East Timorese Government is creating similar programs on the island of Atauro, north of Dili, to halt the decline of turtles like the Hawksbill and Leatherback, which are a popular food source for local residents.

"Now is the most important time for us to open our doors to the rest of the world and to prove that not only East Timor is safe but it is an incredibly beautiful and amazing location to visit," said Sean Ferguson-Borrell from the President's Office.

Tourists will be able to pay to release hatchlings into the ocean from the end of the year.

source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/19/2718289.htm

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