Marine Gifts_Inspiring Marine Conservation

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Marine Gifts_Inspiring Marine Conservation

Hanoi, Vietnam
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Marine Gifts (MG), established in 2011, is first and only social enterprise in Vietnams that works with poor women to conserve threatened marine and coastal environments, both protecting biodiversity, promote gender equity and alleviating poverty. Our business models include community based ecotourism (CBET); handicrafts made from marine waste, vocational and living skills training for poor women and awareness raising on marine conservation. We aim to create a network of 2.500 poor women providing CBET and handicrafts as an alternative livelihood to reduce illegal fishing in MPAs.
We are the first Vietnamese social enterprise that wins Global Social Venture Competition – Southeast Asia Regional; the first and only Vietnamese Social Enterprise attending Sankalp forum as Sankalp finalist for South East Asia in 2012 and our leader – Tang Thi Duyen Hong is one of the first 29 leaders that won a national award for social entrepreneur in Vietnam from 2009 - 2011.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Vietnam is a coastal country with 3.200 km of coastline and more than 1 million km2 territorial waters. Total inland waters are 3 times bigger than total main land and there are 83% of total resident are living in coastal areas, of them, more than 10 million people (65% are women and girls) are living totally depend on fishing and aquaculture. Vietnam’s coastal areas attract over 3 million international visitors and more than 10 million domestic tourists annually. Notably, the systems of MPA in Vietnam with about 16 MPA and 4 national parks with marine areas illustrated high priority of Vietnam government on conservation of marine resources. However, behind high-end resorts, gorgeous luxurious beaches and big development projects, women living around MPAs still face with difficult lives that below the poverty line, lacking of jobs, information, living skills and most importantly, the right to making decision. Their lives become increasingly difficult in the context of climate change, which affected the coastal areas of Vietnam heavily. The current situation of women in islands requires development of alternative livelihoods for women in sustainable manners that enable them to utilize their nature resources, landscape and marine culture.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

MG addressed a number of immediate needs: 1. It provides job opportunities and income in areas where the economic sources of income had been limited in accordance with government’s conservation purposes. 2. It contributes to raise awareness on illegal fishing, marine resources conservation, protection of beaches and undersea areas that are major tourist attractions. 3. It provide living skills training for women in the context of fact that infrastructure conditions in islands are limited with lack of electricity, fresh water supply and means of communication (radio, television coverage, newspaper, etc.) which lead to little access to information. It also contributes to the fact of limited awareness and access to information for women, and then they continue to be hardly listened, independent and be abused in some ways.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

At the moment, after 1 year operating, MG has it own legal status of a limited company and successfully set up 02 MG groups in Nha Trang Bay MPA and the first and only Trao Reef locally managed MPA in Vietnam (both in Khanh Hoa Province). We gain totally USD 60.000 in 2011, provide job and income for 32 women earning about USD 150/month. None of these 32 women was an artisan before they enter MG’s program. They even have no job, income and the chance to voice up at their family.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Tour operators, handicrafts producers and development organisation that work in coastal Vietnam are our competitors. High end tour operators have distribution channels, budget avaiable while we have strong technical in Marine Conservation and unique products which is marine conservation expedition. Many handicrafts producers in Vietnam have distribution channels around the world already. However, we have unique products that ultilizing from marine by products. We have market orientation and a long term committment to our work in compering with avaiable funding but projects based approach of NGOs.


We want to be the change that we want to see in the future!