Posted on 08 May 2019
Vatosoa Rakatondrazafy, the national coordinator of the MIHARI network, won the 2019 Whitley Award, on behalf of all Malagasy fishers.
The MIHARI Network of Locally Managed Marine Areas in Madagascar is the largest network of coastal communities involved in the sustainable management and conservation of the country's marine resources. MIHARI is 500,000 fishers and their families, representing more than 200 community organizations spread over 5000 km of coastline in the country.
Vatosoa Rakotondrazafy is the national coordinator of the network. Last week, on behalf of MIHARI, and to celebrate her years of efforts for oceans conservation in Madagascar, she won the 2019 Whitley Award. The first prize was given to her by Princess Anne, daughter of the Queen of England, in London. The Whitley Awards are organized annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature to recognize and celebrate a conservation champions around the world. "I dedicate this prize to all LMMA communities in Madagascar who are the champions of marine conservation", said Vatosoa, receiving her prize. " Today, I have become the lawyer of fishing communities in Madagascar, representing their voices and defending their rights. This is a beyond my wildest dreams", she added.
In 2017, the network presented to the Ministry of Fisheries its proposal to reform fisheries policy. Positively convinced by the advocacy of the network, the government has committed to work for areas reserved for Malagasy small fishers in 2018.
WWF, one of the network's 23 support organizations in Madagascar, celebrates this victory that rewards ocean conservation in our country.