Madagascar Community Association Wins Prestigious Equator Prize
New York – July 8, 2014 –A community association, established and supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society since 2003, and focused on improving sustainable management of marine resources in Madagascar’s Antongil Bay has been awarded the Equator Prize.
The community association—called the Plate-forme de Concertation pour le Développement Durable de la Baie d’Antongil (PCDDBA)—will receive $5,000 at an upcoming award ceremony at the United Nations on September 22, 2014. Presented by the Equator Initiative, the Equator Prizes are awarded biannually in recognition of local sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. PCDDBA was chosen from a record 1,234 nominations from 121 different countries.
“We congratulate our local partners on winning this prestigious award,” said WCS Malagasy scientist Bemahafaly Randriamanantsoa. “This recognition from the Equator Initiative will certainly help us promote this consortium as a model for resolving fishing crisis and finding sustainable alternatives.”
Said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Executive Director of WCS’s Marine Program: “We applaud the successful efforts of the PCDDBA to make a difference in Antongil Bay, one of the most biodiverse marine coastal ecosystems in Madagascar. We also thank the Equator Initiator for bringing global attention to innovative local consortiums aimed at creating a sustainable future.”
The Plate-forme de Concertation pour le Développment Durable de la Baie d’Antongil (PCDDBA) is a local collective bringing together fishing communities and various stakeholders to promote the sustainable management of marine resources in and around Antongil Bay, the largest bay on the coast of Madagascar.
The group was formed to address a number of issues such as conflicts between artisanal and industrial fishing interests, declining fish populations, marine ecosystem degradation, and the loss of coastal mangrove habitat to development. For two decades PCDDBA, WCS, government authorities and other partners have joined forces to address these challenges.
Most recently this has led to the establishment of a network of 25 community-run marine protected areas and the reduction of the use of destructive fishing gears along 150 miles of remote coastline, with 96 beach seines destroyed in May 2014. Beach seines are very fine mesh nets that cause severe depletion and crashes of fish populations in areas where they are used.
By providing a forum for continuing dialogue and resource management, the PCDDBA has achieved measurable results, including an increase in fish populations and the restoration of functioning marine ecosystems. The group has also helped to increase local incomes while providing a conflict resolution mechanism to guide resource access and use.
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Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org; facebook.com/TheWCS; youtube.com/user/WCSMedia; follow: @theWCS.
Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium is open every day of the year. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Fall/winter/spring hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. Admission is $9.95 per person; children under 3 years of age are admitted free. Fridays after 4 p.m. in the summer and after 3 p.m. in the fall, admission is by pay-what-you-wish donation. The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island. The New York Aquarium is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the WCS New York Aquarium, a beloved part of Brooklyn and all of the City of New York. Due to Hurricane Sandy we are partially opened. Check our website for more information. www.nyaquarium.com.