The article below appeared in Solutions magazine recently. I first became aware of the work of Blue Ventures from their participation in Population Institute’s Global Population Speak Out initiative. Since their founding in 2003, they have swiftly developed into a well known conservation organization, putting family planning and community involvement at the core of their conservation strategies. This quick, 4 minute interview with Dr. Vik Mohan, director of sexual and reproductive health programming for Blue Ventures, is well worth watching.
Blue Ventures Proves Conservation Benefits Communities in the Long-Term
In Andavadoaka, a Vezo village on the western coast of Madagascar, marine ecosystems are a precious resource. Over 71 percent of Vezo people rely on fishing as their sole source of income. But local fisheries can no longer support local demand: the Vezo population doubles every 10-15 years, and higher-yield fishing techniques put ecosystems under greater pressure. “From 1980 to 2000, there were always plenty of fish,” said Alex Nobert, a native of Andavadoaka, in an interview with Blue Ventures. “Since 2001, fish have become more and more rare. We have to go 5 to 15 kilometers to find fish.”
In 2003, Ashoka Fellow Alisdair Harris founded Blue Ventures to develop marine conservation programs together with local communities, putting resources back in the hands of villagers and creating fisheries that are economically and environmentally sustainable. These conservation programs provide incentives to develop sustainable fisheries management, protecting marine resources while still developing local economies and retaining livelihoods. Blue Ventures has also created an award-winning ecotourism program in which paying volunteers assist local scientists with conservation projects-in Andavadoaka, volunteers chart coral reefs, calculate fish populations, and monitor local catches. The result is a conservation program that is run by and focused on the local community and does not need continuous outside funding.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1023
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