Welcome to Gamba − a remote coastal town in western Gabon surrounded by rainforest and lagoons. Accessible only by air or a poorly maintained sand track, Gamba is situated between two national parks, one of which is where the forest meets the ocean, and where elephants, hippos and marine turtles can be found on the beaches.

This is where WWF-Gabon has been conducting marine turtle monitoring and conservation activities since 2002.

"WWF Gabon's collaborative work with partners has led to the discovery that Gabon hosts the world's largest population of nesting leatherback turtles as well as the most significant nesting site for Olive Ridley turtles in the entire Atlantic Ocean basin," said Gianna Minton, Marine Coordinator, WWF-Gabon. "This knowledge spurs us on to continue studying and working to protect these extraordinary and endangered species."

And data gathering goes hand-in-hand with increasing awareness about the conservation of the area's turtles. At the heart of this campaign are monthly 'nature clubs' in Gamba's schools that are organised by WWF's local partner NGO, Ibonga. In addition, there is a yearly 'Turtle Festival' and annual visits to the turtle nesting beaches and hatchery where baby turtles can be viewed and released back into the sea by little, helping hands.

All of this work is taking place against the backdrop of 'Gabon Bleu', a government-led initiative to ensure sustainable fisheries in Gabon and to establish a network of new marine protected areas covering up to 23 percent of Gabon's exclusive economic zone − an ambitious plan that was announced by President Bongo at the IUCN World Park's Congress in Sydney in November 2014.

See a hatchling reach the sea for the first time.