RIU participates in conservation activities for wildlife and biodiversity through programmes to protect endangered species and their habitats, reforestation and support for foundations that protect the environment.

environment projects

Cape Verde

BIOS Cabo Verde

Since 2011 – Boavista, Cape Verde

With the support of RIU, this NGO has helped increase knowledge about marine biodiversity in the Cape Verde islands and worked with national authorities to develop protective laws for species and habitats and management plans for the conservation of endangered marine species.

The hatching success in the nursery was 70%, with 68.633 hatchlings released to the sea.

Projeto Biodiversidade

Since 2016 – Sal island, Cape Verde

RIU helps this Cape Verdean non-profit organisation to protect wildlife and, above all, the Caretta caretta turtle, one of the 11 most endangered species of sea turtles on the planet and which has an important nesting and breeding area in Cape Verde. This organisation defends biodiversity and aims to develop sustainable conservation projects among the local community. 

6 hatcheries (2.888 nests) were created with a success rate of 72,5% and 144.695 turtles were released to the sea.

Dune Reforestation

Since 2021 – Sal Island, Cape Verde

RIU collaborates with Project Biodiversity in the reforestation of the dune ecosystem on the island of Sal. Together we have created a nursery with 200 specimens of “Senegalese Tamarisk” plants that, in recycled bottle pots, have been planted thanks to the voluntary work of clients, the RIU team and members of the NGO. When the plants grow sufficiently they will be replanted in the dunes of the area.

200 shoots of the Senegalese Tamarisk plant were planted in the nursery of the Riu Palace Santa Maria hotel.


Amigos de Sian Ka’an

2019 – Quintana Roo, Mexico

This is one of the most important organisations in Mexico focused on environmental conservation and sustainable development. RIU Hotels sponsored the short-term renovation of facilities to improve the conditions at the “Pez Maya” Biological Station which will help to promote the conservation activities carried out by Amigos de Sian Ka’an in the State
of Quintana Roo among partners and visitors.


Support for research in Protected Natural Areas

Since 2019 – Cancun, Mexico

We work with researchers from CINVESTAV (Center for Research and Advanced Education at the National Polytechnic Institute, Mérida) in their Research Centre and the Mexican Carbon Programme. The objective of the project is to calculate the existing stores of organic carbon in the Nichupté Mangrove Flora and Fauna Protected Area and the Nichupté-Bojorquez Lagoon System. Conservation of these ecosystems will mitigate the CO2 emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

The research determined that the 9.020,67 Ha. of protected areas lead to an estimated carbon reserve of 5,96 tCO₂ equivalent to the emissions avoided.


Reef Restoration Programme

Since 2019 – Mexico

Leading organisation and source of strategies for the conservation of natural resources. We work with them on the creation and maintenance of coral nurseries to increase the resilience and adaptation of coral reefs and the recovery of associated species. We are financing the sowing of 1.000 colonies per year and we provide solidarity accommodation for the technicians that do all the field work.


  • The survival rate in “El Bajito” was 90% and in Punta Nizuc it was 95%.
  • This year’s health crisis slowed down fieldwork, but work continued with the preparation of materials in the workshop, meaning that once restrictions are lifted we can restart the regular monitoring and cleaning of nurseries and transplanting coral until we reach the goal of 2.000 colonies defined for this stage

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Wildlife Refuge

 Since 2014 – Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The National Private Wildlife Refuge in the Matapalo coastal mountains is a 200-hectare protected natural area with considerable environmental, economic and social value. The importance of this area stems from the fact that it is a biological corridor for migratory species as well as home to a great variety of flora and fauna. This natural refuge is home to:

130 protected species of flora as they are threatened and/or endangered, including trees such as mahogany, black laurel or hookah.

80 species of resident and migratory birds, 30 species of mammals and 10 species of reptiles.

united to protect the ‘caretta caretta’ turtle in Cape Verde

RIU Hotels, BIOS CV and Projeto Biodiversidade have created an alliance in the African island archipelago to protect the Caretta caretta turtle and all the wildlife in Cape Verde through plans to protect the environment and the ecosystem in Isla de Sal and Boa Vista.

CAPE VERDE: historical record of turtle births in 2020

  • Both islands set new records for the number of nests and hatchlings released to the sea.
  • Cape Verde has become the second largest caretta caretta turtle breeding colony in the world, behind only Miami.
  • For the first time ever, all the monitoring work was carried out only by local volunteers, which also helped raise awareness among the local population.
  • The use of drones and thermal cameras for patrols (3.561km patrolled) allowed us to observe new predators, such as dogs, and develop new strategies to deter them. This resulted in a strategy designed together with the national police to patrol the beaches and detect poachers, as well as to raise awareness among local dog owners.

riu hotels takes part in the following activities:

  • Protecting turtle nests on the beach and preserving their habitat under the supervision of NGOs.
  • Raising awareness among guests through activities such as visits accompanied by authorised guides and turtle release sessions.
  • Supporting awareness campaigns to discourage people from eating turtle meat and eggs or buying items made from their shells.
  • Financing night patrols on the beaches and volunteer camps during the egg-laying and hatching season.
  • Preventing activities or events on the beaches and prohibiting night lighting in the hotel surroundings.
  • This benefits the local population through generating employment for patrols or tour guides and raises awareness
    through educational programmes in schools.
  • RIU supports the humpback whale protection programme and helps raise awareness through informational campaigns about a whale species that has one of its breeding areas in Cape Verde.