International Lifestyle Magazine Jan 2013 - Page 24

Blue Ventures works in story in terms of increased Andavadoaka to try and access to family planning, this provide holistic solutions to still hasn’t been felt in the more the challenges the coastal isolated parts. The country as environment and communities a whole has an average fertility are facing. For instance, rate of 5 births per woman, but in collaboration with the this is significantly higher in the community, reserves have remote villages of the south been set up and education west where it is closer to 6.7. provided to prevent octopuses Families with ten children or from being caught during their more are commonplace. breeding season - just a brief annual hiatus can help to ensure Blue Ventures have found that by sufficiency in numbers for integrating seemingly separate years to come. Sea cucumbers themes a greater awareness is are now also being farmed to promoted within the community create alternative livelihoods about the inextricable links and alleviate some of the between a community and their intense pressure on the coastal environment, and how best resources. However, this work to nurture this relationship. A alone couldn’t offer the level sense of genuine stewardship of support needed to address is fostered and the positive the complex combination of effects achieved in one area pressures on this community of work cascade into positive and so - in an unusual move - effects in all the others. For the Blue Ventures integrated health Vezo, their efforts to preserve initiatives into these marine the coastal resources would conservation activities. have been doomed to fail without access to basic health While working in Andavadoaka, services. Unquestionably, it became clear to Dr Mohan ensuring this access continues of Blue Ventures that part of will be critical to their pursuit of any solution for improving the true sustainability for the future. quality of life for the Vezo must include providing the family This type of ‘Population, Health planning and education they and Environment’ (PHE) project had expressed a desire for. is an innovative approach to Without it, all the hard work the conservation and sustainable community was putting in was development. PHE programmes going to be for nothing - the sea address the challenges of could only provide so much. poor health, environmental degradation, poverty, food As is well known, Madagascar insecurity and vulnerability to rates as one of the ‘hottest climate change in an integrated of the hot’ in terms of global way. By integrating family biodiversity hotspots, but it also planning a