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Blue Ventures

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Protecting Marine Environments and Action on Climate Change

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Wilstar has been a partner of Blue Ventures since 2015, supporting their work in Timor-Leste. Blue Ventures develops transformative approaches for catalyzing and sustaining locally led marine conservation.

Blue Ventures

They concentrate their work in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies, and protect marine biodiversity in ways that benefit coastal people.

Timor-Leste – a country at the heart of the Indo- Pacific coral triangle is home to the highest levels of marine biodiversity on earth. Despite its globally important marine biodiversity, Timor- Leste’s history of recent conflict and long struggle for independence have hampered the development of conservation efforts, which remain undeveloped relative to neighbouring countries in the region.

Given the critical importance of the country’s marine environment to its coastal populations, who remain some of the region’s poorest and most vulnerable, there is a critical need to help build the island’s capacity for sustainable marine and fisheries management. Responding to this, Blue Ventures is working with coastal communities, government agencies, and conservation and development organisations to help develop new approaches to engaging coastal communities in marine conservation. Their marine conservation volunteer program helps develop village-level economic incentives for communities to support conservation, and provide a financially sustainable framework for future marine protection efforts. As part of this volunteers will also help collect critical data on the status of marine resources, in particular threatened seagrass beds, which are home to numerous vulnerable species, including dugongs.

Wilstar extended the partnership with Blue Ventures in 2019 by three more years. Building on the foundation of a marine conservation partnership launched in Timor-Leste with support from Wilstar in 2015, Blue Ventures is now planning to scale up the project’s work pioneering new approaches to locally-led marine conservation.

Over the next three years, Blue Ventures will embark on an ambitious programme to replicate locally led marine stewardship efforts across seven sites in Timor-Leste, increasing incomes to coastal communities through replicable low impact models for community-based tourism, and establishing a national learning network to share best practice in community-based marine conservation at scale.

Across all these activities Blue Ventures will maintain its commitment to supporting a new generation of young Timorese conservationists to play a leadership role in building a new movement for locally led marine conservation.

Project Goals:

  • Conservation Replication: Blue Ventures aim to expand the scope of our conservation activities − community-based fisheries and habitat monitoring and use of Tara Bandu for marine management − to two new mainland communities.
  • Accelerating and Diversifying Community-Based Tourism: Where there is an opportunity and demand, Blue Ventures will support communities in establishing community-based tourism and homestay initiatives and experiences beyond Atauro.
  • Sharing Success: As our efforts expand, Blue Ventures will work with community partners to proactively assist emerging learning networks and communities of practice in marine conservation across Timor-Leste.
  • Nurturing Local Leadership in Conservation: Blue Ventures are committed to building local leadership for conservation, providing our Timorese staff and community partners with support and training in SCUBA diving, marine science, habitat and fisheries monitoring, English language and IT.
  • Results: By supporting communities to scale up locally-led marine conservation and livelihood diversification efforts and investing in the training and capacity building of community conservationists, this project will accelerate the growth of adoption of community-led marine conservation efforts in Timor-Leste.

Blue Ventures and Education

Timor-Leste – a country at the heart of the Indo- Pacific coral triangle is home to the highest levels of marine biodiversity on earth. Despite its globally important marine biodiversity, Timor- Leste’s history of recent conflict and long struggle for independence have hampered the development of conservation efforts, which remain undeveloped relative to neighbouring countries in the region.

Given the critical importance of the country’s marine environment to its coastal populations, who remain some of the region’s poorest and most vulnerable, there is a critical need to help build the island’s capacity for sustainable marine and fisheries management. Responding to this, Blue Ventures is working with coastal communities, government agencies, and conservation and development organisations to help develop new approaches to engaging coastal communities in marine conservation.

Their marine conservation volunteer program helps
develop village-level economic incentives for communities to support conservation, and provide a financially sustainable framework for future marine protection efforts. As part of this volunteers will also help collect critical data on the status of marine resources, in particular threatened seagrass beds, which are home to numerous vulnerable species, including dugongs.

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Education and Equality

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