The Sea Women of Melanesia program wins the 2020 Ocean Tribute Award!
… and the ocean tribute Award 2020 goes to: The Coral Sea Foundation with its project “Sea Women of Melanesia”! With the project Melanesian women are trained in scuba diving & learn marine biology survey techniques. With the prize money, 20 more women can be trained as “Reef Guardians” of their communities and help to establish protected areas at their traditional reefs.
The presentation of the third “ocean tribute” Award was celebrated with a (ocean) roaring party on the evening of 20 January at the blue motion night in Hall 6 at boot Düsseldorf boat show. The “Sea Women of Melanesia” were delighted to win this year’s award, which is endowed with 20,000 euros – provided by the Prince Albert II Foundation and boot Düsseldorf.
The award was presented to Marine Conservationist Lucie Guirkinger from the “Coral Sea Foundation” for the “Sea Women of Melanesia” by Borisherrmann, the representative of the Prince Albert Foundation in Germany, Dr. Bernd Kunth and the CEO of the 2020 boot boat fair Werner Matthias Dornscheidt.
In the “Sea Women of Melanesia” project, young, committed Melanesian women from the states of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu are specially trained to establish marine protection zones around the unique, largest contiguous coral reefs in the world. An international team of marine biologists is on site and trains the girls and women in diving and surveying techniques to preserve and protect the corals. Their stirring motto is “Too precious to lose”.
Laudator Boris Herrmann, himself a committed marine conservationist and last year’s prize winner, quoted the famous circumnavigator Tracy Edwards in his speech on the winners: “Strengthen a girl and you strengthen the world.” And pointed out the special challenges for the people of Melanesia. These are the survival of the coral reefs, which are threatened with extinction due to excessive CO2 emissions and the resulting acidification of the oceans.
The award winners want to help the population to maintain and care for their own habitat with hardware, software and education. In this way, they can help to defend the resources for local fishing as a source of food for the population. The project and its initiators also promote the sustainable development of tourism. All this benefits the people and their home waters in Melanesia.
The skipper explained: “The prize associated with the funding of 20,000 euros could hardly be better used. The initiators announced in advance that they will train 20 more Melanesian women as reef caretakers for their respective communities. This will now be possible! I can only take my hat off to the strong ideas and the successful and exemplary work of the prize winners”.