A marine conservation project backed by PSN has won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2011 award for its unique work in Madagascar that integrates family planning with natural resource protection.
© Blue Ventures
Blue Ventures, a London-based marine conservation organisation, won the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Challenge award last night for its work to protect marine resources and improve the livelihoods of poor coastal communities in Madagascar.
During an awards ceremony in New York City, Blue Ventures was selected from 165 entries from more than 35 countries as winner of the $100,000 award. Upon announcement of the award, Jonathan Katz, Chairman of Blue Ventures' board of trustees explained;
"The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is the premier global competition recognising initiatives which take a comprehensive, anticipatory approach to radically advance human well-being and the health of our planet's ecosystems. With the help of this award, we are now expanding our work and replicating our projects around the world to demonstrate how nature and human well-being are inextricably linked."
Blue Ventures integrates marine conservation with economic and social development strategies in order to improve the livelihoods of some of the world's poorest coastal communities in Madagascar and elsewhere.
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge recognised Blue Ventures' Madagascar project for its unique whole-system approach - combining scientific research, the development of sustainable aquaculture, family planning support, environmental education, and the creation of community-led protected areas - to bring direct benefits to both people and nature.
"Alongside the ecosystem and fisheries benefits of conservation, we're diversifying incomes, and empowering women often for the first time in their lives with the ability to make their own reproductive health choices" said Fanja Rakotozafy, a Reproductive Health Officer with Blue Ventures in Madagascar.
Dubbed "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award" by Metropolis Magazine, the Challenge uses a distinguished jury to award visionary initiatives that provide tangible solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.
In recent weeks, results of Blue Ventures pioneering work have demonstrated for the first time that community-based marine conservation brings direct economic benefits to traditional fishing communities. Because of these benefits, fisheries management models developed by Blue Ventures in the Indian Ocean have been replicated by coastal communities in over 100 sites along several hundred kilometers of coastline, and have given rise to new national environmental legislation.
Blue Ventures' population, health and environment project in Madagascar is one of several projects supported by PSN, serving as model projects demonstrating the benefits of integrated approaches to health and conservation issues.
PSN is delighted with this news and congratulates Blue Ventures on this latest award, which is one of many awards that Blue Ventures has received in recognition of its innovative work to advance integrated, community-based strategies addressing complex social and environmental issues.
Read more about PSN model projects.