Leatherback Summit

Turtle LogoThe Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Summit

This 3-day event in Monterey, California  will bring together the leadership necessary to foster bi-national collaboration between California and Tambrauw-Indonesia toward mutual conservation goals. The Summit will strengthen communication, highlight threats to leatherbacks and help identify resources to better manage this population.

  • Day 1: Presentations by scientists and leaders, group discussion and work session
  • Day 2: California’s first official annual Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day, Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) discussion & signing, press conference and celebration
  • Day 3: At-sea tour of leatherback habitat in Monterey Bay with scientific experts

Sponsored by:


Foster bi-national collaboration between California and Tambrauw-Indonesia in efforts to conserve this endangered species by strengthening communication networks, addressing threats to leatherbacks in the Pacific, and ensuring sufficient resources to conserve and manage this population effectively.


  • A new dedicated collaboration will be memorialized at the summit through a Memorandum of Agreement between Indonesia and California. Focusing on outreach, education, funding, and support for local conservation efforts in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Abun Marine Protected Area in Bird’s Head Seascape (Papua Barat, Indonesia).
  • A press conference will be held on October 15 in Monterey to celebrate this historic summit in coordination with California’s first annual Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day.
  • Summit attendees will take an at-sea tour of Pacific leatherback habitat in Monterey Bay on October 16, led by scientific leatherback experts.

Plight of the Pacific Leatherback:

Each year Pacific leatherback sea turtles migrate 6,000 miles across the Pacific from breeding grounds in the western Pacific to feeding areas in the eastern Pacific. California’s coast, with its plentiful jellyfish populations, is an important foraging area for leatherbacks, and the Bird’s Head Peninsula of Papua-Barat, Indonesia, is the major nesting area for the western Pacific population of the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle. Jamursba Medi and Wermon beaches in Bird’s Head peninsula, Papua Barat, Indonesia, represent the last two major nesting sites for the Western Pacific leatherbacks. Nesting populations continue to decline at an alarming rate at the two main nesting beaches in the Tambrauw region of West Papua, Indonesia, threatening this last remaining stronghold in the Western Pacific and the future presence of this species in California waters. Enhanced cooperation between Tambrauw-Indonesia and California conservation efforts would strengthen the work of both sides by connecting the two regions critical to the leatherback’s life cycle. Without improved international coordination, efforts to protect the leatherback will continue to struggle at the regional and global levels.