2011 Finalist: Blue Ventures
"Blue Ventures integrates the regeneration of the environment, on which people depend, with the stabilization of population and resources. With continued success this could carry through multiple generations as the ‘norm’ which is key to lasting sustainability and I see no reason to confine their overall strategy to marine environments.” – Allan Savory, 2011 Challenge Juror
– Allan Savory, 2011 Challenge Juror
Blue Ventures works with local communities to conserve threatened marine environments. Our highly acclaimed integrated conservation programmes work with some of the world’s poorest coastal communities to develop conservation and alternative income initiatives to protect biodiversity and coastal livelihoods. The results of our work help us propose new ideas to benefit coastal communities everywhere.
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Critical Need Being Addressed
Globally, tropical coastal ecosystems are critical to livelihoods, cultures and food security of hundreds of millions of people, but are in unabated decline due to overexploitation and climate change. Throughout much of the developing world fragile marine resources are under siege from a range of human and climatic impacts, with less than 1% of marine ecosystems under effective protection.
Description of Initiative
Inspired by a paucity of marine resource governance globally Blue Ventures works alongside partner communities at remote conservation sites. Data collected on the status of marine environments, analysed in partnership with community leaders, are widely disseminated so that communities begin to understand the ecological condition of their marine environment as well as the biological and economic case for conservation management as a tool for restocking depleted fisheries and safeguarding ecosystem resilience.
Blue Ventures works to develop community owned marine conservation solutions through an ambitious portfolio encompassing marine and fisheries research, sustainable aquaculture, family planning and public health, environmental education, fisheries management and protected area development. Integrating such a broad range of initiatives and delivering them in a specific geographic area represents a novel approach to the development of sustainable and holistic community led marine and coastal conservation in tropical developing world countries.
The approach Blue Ventures has pioneered to tropical coastal management is unique globally:
• Blue Ventures’ work is grounded in uncompromising science. From biodiversity research to bioeconomic modelling of marine fisheries reserves, all conservation programmes are guided by rigorous scientific analysis.
• Blue Ventures’ conservation programmes are developed, designed, managed and policed by local coastal communities, creating a management solution that is owned and led by communities.
• Blue Ventures focuses on demonstrating the lasting economic benefits of marine conservation, creating a powerful market based incentive to protect marine biodiversity.
• At its core Blue Ventures is a biodiversity social enterprise, constantly innovating new approaches to financing marine conservation and coastal poverty alleviation, and generating almost all of its own conservation funding independently. Existing social business activities include award-winning ecotourism, carbon finance and conservation incentive programmes, as well as commercial-scale community-based sustainable aquaculture businesses.
Conservation models piloted by Blue Ventures have been replicated by communities at hundreds of sites in Madagascar alone, including creating the largest community-managed marine protected area in the entire Indian Ocean. Blue Ventures has replicated its programmes in southeast Asia and the Caribbean, and is now advising governments and communities from several countries around the Indian Ocean to build on the results of its fisheries management work.
Resources + Updates Since Entering The Challenge in October 2010
-PROJECT PRESS RELEASE: PDF
-WEBSITE: Blue Ventures
-UPDATE: Already Blue Ventures’ work has guided fisheries policy and legislation, and been replicated by coastal communities, NGOs, and government agencies across hundreds of kilometres of coastline. Recently, results of Blue Ventures’ fisheries research has demonstrated for the first time that community‐based marine conservation brings direct economic benefits to traditional fishing communities, creating a powerful incentive for expansion of marine conservation efforts at scale in tropical coastal communities. Their research is undergoing peer review and will be ready for publication in the Fall of 2011. Meanwhile, they have launched workshops to share their findings with community members and government officials to help kick-start efforts to develop policy and financial support for integrating the model within small and medium fishery supply chains across the region.
You can find quotes about this, as well as more information, on the following link: http://blueventures.org/newsroom/press-releases/829-local-marine-managem...
PEOPLE: Blue Ventures
We believe that with the right knowledge, developing coastal communities can live in harmony with their marine environments.
What is our purpose?
To give coastal communities the knowledge and skills they need to live sustainably.
How do we do it?
We have a team of dedicated researchers and community outreach agents who study all aspects of the marine ecosystem - from fish species and coral all the way through to local fishing techniques and ways of life. The results from our work help us to develop the local populations we work with in a sustainable way and propose new ideas to benefit coastal communities everywhere. With our dynamic synergy of science and action, we can help local, coastal communities live more sustainably.
You can read more about BV’s team of passionate conservationists and community development practitioners at http://blueventures.org/home/our-team.html