Measuring the impact of conservation campaigns: the case of sea turtle consumption in São Tomé.

Published online
13 Nov 2020
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
People and Nature

Thomas-Walters, L. & Vieira, S. & Jiménez, V. & Monteiro, D. & Ferreira, B. & Smith, R. J. & Verissomo, D.

Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & Central Africa & Sao Tome and Principe


This study evaluated the effectiveness of a campaign to persuade people in São Tomé and Principe in Central Africa to stop eating sea turtle meat and eggs. This campaign involved a variety of activities, including television advertisements and a cooking contest. Behavioural outcomes (attitudes or consumption) and conservation impacts (sea turtle poaching) were measured. It was shown that there was a decrease in self-reported sea turtle egg consumption and a decrease in the poaching of adult sea turtles. However, there were multiple challenges found in the evaluation. The special questioning techniques used to measure consumption complicated the analysis, and simultaneous law enforcement could also have affected poaching rates. How these factors affected the role of the campaign is discussed. Recommendations for future projects include combining different outcome measures to triangulate hard-to-measure behaviours and using theory-based evaluation methods.

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