Rescuing Madagascar’s coastal waters from overfishing and climate change goes hand-in-hand with empowering women with birth control at Blue Ventures, a UK-based marine conservation charity.
While working with semi-nomadic Vezo communities to create sustainable, locally run fisheries, Blue Ventures realized that poor local health services and rapid population growth also put pressure on the environment in that region, says co-founder and marine ecologist Alasdair Harris.
Since the charity’s 2007 launch of the community health service Safidy ("freedom to choose" in Malagasy), use of contraception has risen by more than 5-fold among women in the remote Velondriake community, according to their data. Plus, women are participating more in the small-scale fisheries.
Thomson Reuters Foundation