Our 26 years of conservation learnings have gifted us with many lessons, one of the most important being that the support and investment of the surrounding communities is fundamental to the success and long-term sustainability of any project. Our community partner, Africa Foundation, has played a core, invaluable role in these projects, and will be key to the success of our OWB initiatives.
In the context of our Oceans Without Borders marine conservation endeavours, it is ironically the very communities that rely most on marine resources that often pose the biggest threat to those same resources.
For these reasons, our most immediate focus at all 3 of our island will be to reduce the local communities’ dependence on the ocean, and give them a stake in the preservation of the threatened marine environment.
Woven into each and every community goal is the golden thread of environmental awareness in the shape of conservation lessons with staff, fishermen, schools and local communities in general.
Our achievements this year include:
- Africa Foundation projects completed in Zanzibar:
- Teachers accomodation at Mbuyutende School
- 10 Ablutions at Matwemwe School
- 6 Community Leader Education Fund (CLEF) busrsaries awarded to students from communities around Mnemba Island and 1 student has graduated
- Dedicated time spent with Friends of Vamizi Trust (FOVT), the Vamizi Conservation an Community (C&C) team, and on community visits to gain an understanding of community projects in progress, community issues and relationships
- Weekly Wildlife Clubs held at the local Vamizi school
- Close working association with Vamizi’s Community Fisheries Committee, supporting their regular island patrols of the sanctuary area, and conducting weekly meetings
- Africa Foundation’s Conservation Officer, Bakari Jaha, hosted a number of school groups and fishermen from the local communities on Mnemba Island, with interactive ecological lessons being the order of the day
- Conservation lessons with staff, local fishermen and school groups hosted by OWB, and given by Dr Tessa Hempson whenever she is on Mnemba Island
- Active engagement with local partners on Benguerra Island