Blue Ventures has had an exciting journey since winning the St Andrews Prize back in 2014. Not only has the Prize money greatly assisted Blue Ventures in their work, the Prize also provided a valuable step to other opportunities.
Developing transformative approaches for catalysing and sustaining locally led marine conservation, Blue Ventures works in locations where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies. The team is committed to protecting marine biodiversity in ways that benefit coastal people, and has been doing so for over a decade.
Medical Director for Blue Ventures Conservation, Vik Mohan, shared his thoughts with us on winning the prestigious award, and the effect this has had on the organisation.
“Blue Ventures won the award in 2014 for our integrated approach to marine conservation in Madagascar, which includes health and education services, as well as supporting community based conservation and fisheries management.
“The prize money enabled us to replicate this approach in, and around, a new marine protected area in Madagascar, and was an important stepping stone towards winning the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2015.”
Beyond their accomplishments so far, the Prize has also had a powerful effect on Blue Ventures and their plans for the future.
“The Prize has provided valuable credibility to this holistic approach to marine conservation, and given us the confidence to think more ambitiously about how much we can achieve. Having supported scale up of this approach in several other sites in Madagascar, we have also started to support the replication of this approach in Mozambique, and are planning to do the same in Indonesia, East Timor, and other parts of the Indo Pacific region.”
Vik’s advises all 2016 applicants to highlighted the uniqueness of their entry, and persevere!
“My advice to applicants is to be really clear about what it is that is special about your work, and what winning the prize would mean for you. Also, don’t give up! It took me a few attempts to make it to the final!”
For more information on Blue Ventures, visit www.blueventures.org.