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Blue Ventures 2017-2018 Annual Report & Accounts

Blue Ventures 2017-2018 Annual Report & Accounts

Blue Ventures’ 2017-2018 Annual Report reviews the last financial year (July 2017 – June 2018), including updates on each of our programmes, our partner support work, our 2020 mission, our financial statements and an independent auditor’s report.

Download our 2017-2018 Annual Report

“Over the last year the world has witnessed a welcome increase in global awareness about the fragile state of our marine environment – from the inundation of our oceans with plastic waste to the impacts of climate change and overfishing on our coral reefs, upon which millions of people depend.

But awareness is not enough. Firm action is needed on the ground to provide lasting protection for the marine environment. Blue Ventures works on the front-line of these efforts, and we have positive news to report as our organisation continues to build enormous momentum behind community-led marine conservation programmes.

This year we have invested heavily in our central operations team to help us ramp up our successful approach to conservation and development across the tropics with our aim to reach 3 million people by 2020.

What remains unchanged are our values. We know that marine conservation initiatives will only succeed with the strong support of local coastal communities. Our whole approach is built around their needs and they are at the heart of everything we do. By demonstrating that sustainable marine management can enhance incomes and livelihoods, we are helping to achieve lasting change.”

– Jonathan Katz, Chair of Board of Trustees

We rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities

Our vision: Coastal communities are managing their natural resources effectively, enriching local livelihoods and sustaining healthy marine environments for generations to come.

Some 2017-2018 highlights:

  • We are currently reaching 242,262 people worldwide.
  • We support 196 locally managed marine area associations in Madagascar through our work with the MIHARI Network.
  • We have supported the establishment of 31 community-led permanent marine no-take zones.
  • 571 people are making regular sustainable incomes from farming sea cucumbers and seaweed after taking part in Blue Ventures’ aquaculture training programmes.
  • The world’s largest – and Madagascar’s first – mangrove carbon conservation project is under development in Velondriake, and will protect and restore 1,300 hectares of threatened mangrove, sequestering 1,400 tonnes of CO² per year.
  • 366 WASH training sessions for nearly 10,000 people delivered across 60 villages in Madagascar, with establishment of Water Management Committees and pumps.
  • Our staff and volunteers spent more than 150,000 tourist bed nights supporting local accommodation providers in Madagascar, Belize and Timor-Leste.
  • We work with over 100 partners around the world to deliver our conservation goals.

“As our journey in conservation moves forward, we’re reminded continually that local relationships and contextual understanding are integral to impactful conservation work. Whether in Belize or Madagascar, Timor-Leste or Comoros, the single-most important factor determining our conservation success remains the depth and mutual understanding of the human relationships and community partnerships underpinning our work.

As Blue Ventures navigates the opportunities and challenges of growth, it’s imperative that we take this experience with us wherever we work. We recognise that a conservation organisation could quickly lose its way if it tries to simply replicate its methods quickly across many different settings, without taking the time to build the key assets of trust, experience and relationships. Across our sector we see an inherent tension between maximising scale and maintaining local robustness in conservation efforts supporting local communities. We recognise that this challenge is faced by many businesses and organisations as they grapple with growth.

The rapid growth seen by Blue Ventures last year has been exceeded this year, with a concomitant increase in the size of our team, which recently grew over 200 strong. As we ourselves grow, we’re also learning more about the incredible power and opportunity for social change that rests in the hands of credible local and national conservation organisations. From Tanzania to Timor-Leste, as our work progresses we’re seeing the tremendous potential and resilience of our locally based partners in responding to marine environmental challenges. Not just in implementing fisheries management and community development initiatives to support conservation and sustainable marine livelihoods, but in becoming active voices to represent the needs, experiences and human rights of the coastal communities that they represent.”

– Dr Alasdair Harris, Executive Director

In 2017-2018 Blue Ventures Conservation spent 95% of our income on conservation activities

We are privileged to work alongside hundreds of community partners across nine countries, and are now collectively reaching 242,000 people in over 147 communities. We are also proud to be joined in our work by dozens of local and international organisations who share our mission. These communities and partners provide us with much of our inspiration, sharing new learning about challenges and solutions in marine conservation today.

As a registered charity (non-profit organisation), none of our work would be possible without the support of our valued funding partners, whose belief in our mission is enabling us to reach more coastal communities than ever before.

We remain enormously grateful for your support.

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