Institutional strengthening & capacity building

  • WCS assists local communities whose livelihoods depend on hunting, fishing, and the use of other natural resources in finding new, viable development alternatives that promote both human well-being and wildlife conservation. 
  • WCS promotes the development of community-based conservation projects for freshwater turtles (Podocnemis unifilis), to demonstrate that with an adequate approach and close collaboration with the communities, it is possible to achieve the goals of sustainable management of species, thereby helping in their recovery and simultaneously providing benefits to local people.
  • WCS promotes effective governance systems in areas where multiple stakeholders coincide. WCS actively fosters the participation of indigenous organizations in managing protected areas and biosphere reserves, as well as supports their role in municipal and provincial planning and management.
  • WCS actively promotes the consolidation and strengthening of the YBR Management Committee to support the conservation initiatives within the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. 


  • WCS collaborates with the Ministry of Environment in the development and implementation of patrol and monitoring programs to reduce illegal activities in Yasuní National Park.
    • Since project initiation, a total of 16,964 eggs have been safely collected and placed in sand boxes for hatching, and a total of 10,873 turtles have hatched in artificial sand boxes. This represents a 70 % hatchling success, a huge improvement over the 5 % success rate that is estimated among wild populations.
    • We have begun a new radiotelemetry monitoring program to evaluate movement and home range of river turtles.