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A message from our executive
director: COVID-19

From Dr Alasdair Harris

Around the world, individuals, families and communities are rallying to face the COVID-19 pandemic. From Tanzania to Timor-Leste, Blue Ventures’ own mission and operations are being shaken by this unprecedented disruption. Nevertheless, our energies are focused on preparing and protecting the communities that we strive to support.

Despite the immense scale of the challenge, the BV family has navigated turbulent times before, from devastating cyclones and infectious outbreaks to prolonged political unrest and conflict. For nearly two decades we’ve worked to increase the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities, many of whom live in precarious conditions lacking access to basic services and reliant on fishing for survival. We have learnt that by listening to communities and offering our expertise to co-design practical locally led solutions, we can help them to overcome the challenges they face.

With field teams living and working alongside under-served communities throughout the coastal tropics, we’re fortunate to be in a frontline position to respond to this new challenge and find ways to support these communities.

As I write, our team is working hard to repurpose our grassroots community health programme in Madagascar, and mobilise partners to assist in providing a rapid response to prepare people for the difficulties they will face as the pandemic spreads.

In addition to the gravity of this public health emergency, the economic impact for small-scale fishers dependent on volatile global seafood markets is hard to overstate. We’re doing all we can to enable communities to diversify their incomes, reduce dependence on fishing, and gain access to better, fairer markets in this changing world.

We’re humbled that our staff and partners in hundreds of communities across 14 countries are mobilising to use their expertise to meet and overcome the current crisis.

We will all have our way of life profoundly changed by this pandemic. For those who live on the frontline of other crises −  climate breakdown and the depletion of fisheries upon which their livelihoods depend − this global pandemic is yet another shock. It reminds us all why we must take action to cooperate at local and global scales to tackle the issues that make marginalised coastal communities amongst the most vulnerable on the planet.

I am moved by the bravery, determination and resolve of our colleagues, supporters and partners who enable us to help coastal communities to find practical ways to meet the challenges they face now and in the months to come.

Alasdair Harris, PhD
Executive Director, Blue Ventures

Find out more about our response to COVID-19

For conservationists working at the interface of poverty and environmental degradation, the coronavirus tragedy underscores why we must take urgent action. 

With our partners, we are mobilising around the world to help support locally led conservation efforts against the current crisis, safeguarding food security and livelihoods for coastal communities in this turbulent time.

Updates and resources gathered to provide a focal point for our partners to find reliable and useful information while navigating the Covid-19 pandemic.

For conservationists working at the interface of poverty and environmental degradation, the coronavirus tragedy underscores why we must take urgent action. 

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