In 2016 Ms. Vatosoa Rakotondrazafy Of MIHARI Network, Madagascar, took part in a Science Communication training in Tanzania we organized in partnership with the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute. 3 years later she won the prestigious Whitley Award. This is a nature conservation charity offering funding, profile and training to grassroots conservation leaders across the Global South. She went to London and received the award from Anne, Princess Royal
Q1. What is your research background and what do you currently do for MIHARI Network?
“I studied Geography at the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) specializing in terrestrial environment and while there got selected in 2013 to attend a two- month training program on Marine Conservation at the University of Halifax, Canada.
In 2014 I attended a yearlong UNITED NATIONS and Nippon Foundation Fellowship research program on Assessing Strategies for better management of Madagascar’s fishery resources at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver
I am currently the National Coordinator of the MIHARI Network which is a network that supports the Locally Managed Marine Area Managers and make fishers voices heard.”
Q2. In April 2016, you attended the TCC Science Communication Course sponsored by TAFIRI (Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute) and WIOMSA (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association), Could you share why you applied for this training?
MIHARI is a network thus communication is the key for all of our activities.
I was interested to know how I can effectively communicate my work at MIHARI within the network as well as communicate technical terms to the community for them to be understood.
Q3. You recently won a prestigious award that you were presented to by the Princess Royal Ann. Please tell us more on the award and what led to the award?
“It is the Whitley Award that recognizes global conservation champions for outstanding effort in conservation with support of local communities.
The title of my winning project was “MIHARI: a civil society movement to safeguard marine resources, Madagascar.
Congratulations! It seems that was a very competitive award so, well done!
Q4. What are your parting shots on the importance of the Science Communication Course at TCC to your work? What benefit has it given in the activities you’re undertaking?
My role as the National Coordinator of a network of 200 community associations and 25 Supporting NGOs, requires me to be an excellent communicator.
The training helped facilitate effective communication with the members of the network and as mentioned, communicate technical terms to the community to make sure they are understood.
I’d also say the practical activities in the coursework increased my interest in writing blogs and articles for the network.
Thank you so much! That was it for the interview questions planned.