The UK has historically recognised its debt to the Mediterranean region. Our culture, language and form of government all have their roots there, as does our Founder, Lily Venizelos. Lily immediately recognised that, since sea turtles know no boundaries, if the ones that still survive in the waters of her native Greece and use that country’s beaches as nesting places were to be protected, a transnational, region-wide approach would be needed. Rising above artificial dividing lines, MEDASSET decided from the outset that it would work to foster greater understanding of sea turtles, of their biology, behaviour and needs internationally, and that it would build bridges of cooperation and understanding between scientists, researchers, conservationists… and the public.
Only if it did that could it hope to succeed. While certain populations of sea turtles mostly remain within the Mediterranean basin, the decisions that affect their future are taken by national and international governing bodies. It has been vital to MEDASSET’s work to be close to the policy makers, the academic centres of excellence and the environmentally sensitive public of the UK in order to advocate effectively for the ancient species that the charity was set up to protect.