In 1994, recognizing the regional nature of the threats to sea turtle survival, the nations of the western hemisphere began a collaborative effort to negotiate an agreement for the future of these species.
In 2001, with the ratification of the eighth nation, the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles entered into force. The Convention attends to the need for implementation of harmonious measures between nations, multilateral coordination of conservation and protection actions, and oversight of the implementation of a regional agenda that will enable the recovery of these species.
The Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (“IAC”) is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the legal framework for countries in the American Continent to take actions in benefit of these species. The IAC entered into force in May of 2001 and currently has fifteen Contracting Parties, in addition to one country awaiting national ratification.
The Convention promotes the protection, conservation and recovery of the populations of sea turtles and those habitats on which they depend, on the basis of the best available data and taking into consideration the environmental, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of the Parties (Article II, Text of the Convention). These actions should cover both nesting beaches and the Parties’ territorial waters.