A symposium event was held on the 8th and 9th of May to officially close the Roger Samba and J. Paul Getty Scholarship Programme.
Mr. Roger Samba won the Paul Getty Award for his Leadership in Conservation in 2008 while he was the president of the isolated village of Andavadoaka in southwest Madagascar. Mr. Samba spent several years working to protect marine biodiversity and fragile habitats in the region, and his work resulted in the creation of Madagascar’s first community-managed marine protected area – Velondriake – and also inspired the development of alternative livelihoods and environmental education initiatives.
As a result of the award, the Roger Samba and J. Paul Getty Scholarship Programme was established to support Malagasy conservationists with the pursuit of University education. This fund has been managed by WWF in partnership with Blue Ventures, and has supported 39 students since its creation in 2009.
Of the 39 students supported:
- 12 were women
- 21 were undergraduates, 16 were Masters students, and two were PhD students
- 14 came from the Velondriake locally managed marine area
- 37 attended the University of Toliara, with the remaining two attending the University of Antananarivo and the University of Toamasina
- Three studied Biodiversity, nine studied Geography, six studied Natural Science, one studied Agronomy, and 20 studied Marine Science
- Six have gone on to pursue study abroad, in Norway, Indonesia, Reunion Island, France and Canada
The symposium was held to bring together the network of scholars, and provide them with an opportunity to present their achievements. Stephanie Eisenman, WWF’s Education for Nature Officer from Washington DC, also attended the symposium, as did Lalao Aigrette, Blue Ventures’ Deputy National Blue Forests Programme Lead, who has been the Roger Samba and J. Paul Getty Scholarship Programme Manager since its creation.
Contact: Lalao Aigrette, Deputy National Blue Forests Programme Lead
Read the story of Lucia, one of the first students to receive a Blue Ventures scholarship