Kate Stokes was a remarkable and talented young conservationist who, in the four years she worked as CLP Programme Officer, demonstrated all of qualities that epitomise CLP leaders: she was hard-working, fun to be with, cared deeply for others, and was passionate and committed to biodiversity conservation. When Kate tragically died in 2006, her family set up the Kate Stokes Memorial Trust so that, in her memory, a US$5,000 award could be granted annually to an exceptional team of CLP alumni.
This year, the Trustees are proud to present the (delayed) 2012 Kate Stokes Memorial Award to a team of young conservationists from Fiji for a project entitled “Building blocks for youth empowerment in marine conservation in Fiji”. The funds will be used to build upon the team’s 2012 CLP Future Conservation Award which is training members of the Kian community (particularly vulnerable groups such as women and youth) in marine conservation and social marketing to empower them to make better informed decisions about their marine environment.
In recent months, the Fijian team developed a number of Conservation Ambassadors – key community members who have been appointed to raise awareness of environmental issues on Kia Island. The Conservation Ambassadors, who recently put their fine voices to good use to raise awareness for spinner dolphin conservation are enthusiastically involved in a Reef Rangers programme which is teaching youths how to work together to make an impact and bring about positive environmental change in Fiji. Now, through the Kate Stokes Memorial Award, the Conservation Ambassadors will expand the Reef Ranger projects in two more communities and also train a number of new Reef Ranger coordinators to continue their outstanding work.
More information about the Kate Stokes Memorial Trust can be found on the CLP website or by reading the latest Trustee newsletter.