The Sea Women of Melanesia program empowers indigenous women involved in diving and marine science to play an active role in creating and monitoring marine protected areas on their own coral reefs.
Taking place between luxurious super yachts nothing less than the ocean protection Oscar – the Ocean Tribute Award, so to speak is being presented. The prize, endowed with 20,000 euros, is donated by boot Düsseldorf, the German Sea Foundation and the Prince Albert II Foundation from Monaco – which is why the regent himself presented the prize last year. The Ocean Tribute Award recognizes special protection projects that effectively strive for a healthy underwater world.
This year the NGO Sea Women of Melanesia is receiving the award. Sea Women of Melanesia – a campaign to empower indigenous girls and women by training them to be divers and reef carers.
ON Lucie Guirkinger:
„They are themselves very aware of the impacts of climate change, of their corals just diing, fish disappearing, because of fishery and – as I mentioned – because of climate change. So they are willing to be trained, and change their environment, and they know that what we offer them is an opportunity to save their oceans but also for them to feel more empowered.“
Each of these expeditions under the umbrella of the Coral Sea Foundation costs around 20,000 euros – one of five planned tours in 2020 are financed with the prize money of the Ocean Tribute Awards. And both water sports enthusiasts and marine conservationists present agree that this is a good thing.
ON Boris Herrmann:
“The award winner today, this association, has the right maturity and is a great choice of the jury.”
Another 20 women are now to be trained with the prize money to become reef carers in their respective community. And that means a lot if you believe Boris Herrmann’s quote from the circumnavigator Tracy Edwards: “Strengthen a girl and you strengthen the world.”
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