Tristan da Cunha, the remote archipelago nestled in the South Atlantic Ocean, celebrates a momentous achievement as it is honoured with the prestigious Gold Blue Park Award for its outstanding commitment to marine conservation. The award recognises the island's Marine Protection Zone (MPZ) and its importance for protecting Tristan’s marine environment and threatened wildlife.

Expressing Gratitude and Pride

On behalf of the community and Government of Tristan da Cunha, James Glass (Tristan’s Chief Islander) remarks, " Since the day Tristão d’Acunha first sighted the islands in 1506, Tristan da Cunha has been recognised as a unique place, with outstanding beauty and an assemblage of wildlife found nowhere else in the world. So I was absolutely delighted when I heard that Tristan had won the Gold Park Award. Another notch in our belt to our conservation achievements.”

Championing Conservation at the Global Stage

Andy Schofield, (RSPB’s Government Partner Territories Programme Manager and Tristan Da Cunha’s Government Environmental Policy Officer) who was in attendance at the 9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens, Greece collected the award on the community’s behalf.

Andy said “ that it was a great honour to not only be present at the Our Oceans Conference representing the work that the Overseas Territories and in particular Tristan do in the field of marine conservation, but it was particularly humbling and a very proud moment to accept the award on behalf of the community of Tristan Da Cunha for its outstanding contribution to Global marine protection.”

James adds “Our life on Tristan da Cunha has always been based around our relationship with the sea, producing 80% of our revenue. I was shocked to hear on the news  that there has been a 70% decrease in sharks around the world. I am proud that the Tristan MPZ supports sharks in abundance and is a nursery for the endangered Blue Shark. We’re proud that we can play a key role in preserving the health of the oceans, and I’m hoping that this award will promote Tristan and all its accomplishments.”

Elevating Community Ownership and Global Awareness

The designation of Tristan's MPZ has instilled real pride within the community, demonstrating the remarkable achievement of just 250 people and limited resources. Since its establishment, the MPZ has safeguarded vital marine resources, promoted projects celebrating marine heritage, facilitated cutting-edge scientific research into marine wildlife, and inspired the younger generation to participate in environmental stewardship activities, such as beach clean-ups.

"Surrounded by miles upon miles of open water, we as a community have always respected and depended upon the ocean," Janine Lavarello (Tristan's Marine Protection Zone Officer) emphasizes. "It gives us more than we could ever ask in return, so therefore we never take more than we need."

Despite its remote location, receiving the Gold Blue Park Award will undoubtedly raise Tristan da Cunha’s global profile. This recognition provides a platform for Tristanians to share the island's innovative approach to marine conservation and sustainable fisheries management with a wider audience.

Gratitude and Collaboration

Acknowledging the collaborative effort behind the MPZ's success, Janine on behalf of Tristan Government and community would like to thank all partners who have supported Tristan da Cunha in their ambitious endeavour of creating the largest fully ‘no-take’ zone in the Atlantic, an area almost three times the size of the UK.

For more information about Tristan da Cunha and its Marine Protection Zone, visit https://atlanticguardians.org/explore/the-marine-protection-zone/

 

 

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Award Ceremony @ Oceans Conference in Greece (c) Andy Schofield
Award Ceremony @ Oceans Conference in Greece (c) Andy Schofield
Andy receiving the Award on Tristan's behalf (c) Andy Schofield
Andy receiving the Award on Tristan's behalf (c) Andy Schofield

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