[Coral-List] Velondriake Committee member wins prestigious WWF Getty award

Frances Humber frances at blueventures.org
Thu Oct 23 06:18:54 EDT 2008

To whom it may concern,

I was wondering if this may be of interest to the list.

Please let me know if you require any further information,



Fran Humber | Research Coordinator | Blue Ventures | Unit 2D |  
Aberdeen Centre | 22/24 Highbury Grove | London N5 2EA | T/F: +44(0) 
20 3176 0547/0548/0549 | M: +44(0)7796 332 860 | www.blueventures.org

WWF announces 2008 winner of the prestigious Getty Prize for
Conservation is Mr. Roger Samba, President of the Velondriake

View this online at:

Washington DC, October 21, 2008 - World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has
announced that Roger Samba has been named the winner of the 2008 J.
Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership. The annual award honors
outstanding contributions to international conservation and carries
with it a $200,000 prize.

Mr. Samba is a community leader in the Malagasy Republic. As the
president of the remote village of Andavadoaka in southwest
Madagascar, and with no conservation background, Samba organized the
world’s first community run no-take zone for octopus, a local species
of critical economic importance to the community, driving legislation
on this and other laws to benefit the environment. This work became a
model for seasonal closures and was behind the village being awarded
the 2007 UN Equator Prize.

"Each year, the J. Paul Getty Award honours one of the world’s top
conservationists who is helping to build the leaders of tomorrow,”
said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF–US, who administers the
award for the Getty family. “This year the award honours Roger Samba,
whose work – which originates at the community level and reaches far
beyond – embodies the local to global approach so crucial in finding
lasting solutions to environmental problems.”

For generations, the indigenous semi-nomadic Vezo people of
Andavadoaka, Madagascar - Samba’s village - have depended on artisanal
fishing activities for their livelihoods, culture and tradition. But
in recent years, the region’s marine resources faced growing threats
from expanding coastal populations, unsustainable tourism and an
increase in international fishing fleets.

Samba spent much of the last five years working to protect the
region’s fragile marine biodiversity and habitats. He created a
blueprint for empowering local communities to take on management of
coral reefs and related habitats. Since 2003, plans for creation of
community-managed marine protected areas have spread from one village
to more than 30 in the region. This work has inspired the development
of ambitious alternative livelihood and environmental education
initiatives, influenced national fisheries legislation, and brought
unprecedented attention to marine and coastal conservation issues.
Fishermen and women have travelled from across Madagascar and beyond
to learn from the Andavadoaka model.

“Under Samba’s leadership,” wrote Alasdair Harris, director of
scientific research at Blue Ventures, who nominated Roger, “the
Andavadoaka project proved so successful that eight neighbouring
villages instituted their own protected areas for octopus in order to
reap similar benefits. The national government of Madagascar in 2005
also used the project as a model to create similar seasonal closures
across the country. The project is a proven example of how economic
development can both inspire and benefit from the conservation of
natural resources.”

This year’s Getty Prize recognizes community leadership, one of three
rotating themes of the award, which also honours political leadership
and scientific leadership. Administered by World Wildlife Fund (WWF),
the J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership is one of the
world’s most prestigious awards devoted to conservation. The award,
currently sponsored by J. Paul Getty’s son Gordon and his family, is
intended to encourage conservation innovation and heighten public
awareness of the need for conservation. Nominees for the Getty Award
are submitted to WWF by conservation organizations around the world
and the winner is chosen by an independent jury of individuals from a
wide and distinguished array of expertise.

Established in 1974 as The Getty Prize by the late U.S. billionaire
businessman J. Paul Getty, the award was later renamed the J. Paul
Getty Award for Conservation Leadership. In July 1983, former US
President Ronald Reagan, in awarding that year’s winners in the Rose
Garden of the White House, described the Getty Prize as “the Nobel
Prize for Conservation.” Previous winners of the Getty Award have
included world renowned scientists Dr. Jane Goodall, Sir Peter Scott
and Pan Wenshi.

The award is unique in that it not only recognizes today’s leaders in
conservation but also helps develop conservation leadership for
tomorrow by establishing graduate fellowships in the name of the
winner and J. Paul Getty. Samba will use his award to establish
fellowships for students pursuing masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral
degrees in conservation-related fields at a university of his choice
in Madagascar.

Roger Samba was officially announced as this year's winner at a
presentation ceremony on October 20th in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

WWF is the world’s largest conservation organization, working in 100
countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5
million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering
science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of
life on Earth, stop the degradation of the environment and combat
climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.

Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation
dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in
tropical coastal communities.

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