Banana Boat protects you from the sun’s harmful rays. Now, the skincare brand is extending its reach into wildlife preservation. During the last four years in Colombia, 99 percent of sea turtles have been born female. The sand’s warmth influences their sex during the incubation phase: if a turtle’s eggs incubate below 27.7°C the turtle hatchlings will be male. If the eggs incubate above 31°C the hatchlings will be female. This of course means that the hotter the sand, the greater probability of female newborns – an imbalance and threat to the turtles’ continued existence.
Wunderman Thompson Colombia and Banana Boat, in partnership with The Colombian Sea Turtle Conservation Program, have come up with an innovative and sustainable solution: Nest Domes. Inspired by the organic shape of turtle shells and made with natural materials, the Nest Domes are Domes that regulate sand temperature on the beaches, influencing the proper conditions in terms of shading and ventilation needed to hatch a better proportion of female and male newborns.
Designed with the help of Marine Biologists, local artisans, designers, and engineers, the Nest Domes were created with Caribbean wood from Santa Marta (Col.), which makes up part of the sea turtle’s ecosystem. Light wood helps to reflect the sun rays, Internal layers are made of cork, a material that is 100% bio-degradable and importantly, a natural coolant, while the outer layer is covered with flaxseed oil to prevent humidity when it rains. The design has handcrafted windows especially created to guarantee the proper circulation of wind, pushing the hot air, out of the dome.
Aminta Jauregui, Head Researcher of the Sea Turtle Conservation Project said: “During the evolution of the prototypes we were able to lower the temperature in the nests by 4ºC. Thanks to this project, we are able to re-create the pivotal temperature needed to achieve an even proportion of male and female sea turtles. It’s an outstanding feat of innovation, and we’re optimistic it will have a positive impact on the future sea turtle population which is now classified as endangered.”
Nest Domes offer a global-scale solution with an open-source blueprint that will be made available to everyone, with the hope that they will be created and installed on beaches globally.
Bas Korsten, Global Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman Thompson, said: “We’ve worked alongside nature to create an innovative solution that will help lower the temperature of the sand and help creatures such as sea turtles thrive once again. It’s such important work to be part of, and we’re excited to be pioneering a project that could potentially make a huge impact all over the world.”
Following a successful pilot project that was executed on the beaches of Santa Marta, Colombia with the aid of fishermen and the local community, the Nest Domes are now going to be tested and installed on several beaches along Mexico.
The Nest Domes officially launched at the 41st International Sea Turtle Symposium, a seven-day event held in Cartagena, Colombia, between 18th and 24th March – an event which brings together a community of sea turtle biologists, environmental practitioners, conservationists, Indigenous groups, researchers, academics, and advocates from up to 60 countries to share knowledge.