Zara Currimjee has joined the Waitt Institute as a Program Manager. In this role, Zara will bolster project support with new and existing local stakeholders – including government, NGO and community partners – to advance the implementation of Marine Spatial Planning.
Zara previously worked as a Blue Economy Fellow for the Waitt Institute, where she led the design of the Institute’s approach to sustainable finance assessment in Montserrat and Curacao. Zara rejoins Waitt’s team of world-class experts to create and implement sustainable ocean plans in partnership with committed governments and local stakeholders with the goal of protecting 30% of the world’s ocean.
Zara was born and raised in Mauritius and has always made the ocean a way of life. As an islander, she has witnessed firsthand the effects of overfishing, the oil industry, plastic pollution, and development on an island community. These experiences have driven her to study marine biology, to grow into a campaigner, and to dedicate the past decade to ocean conservation.
Zara has experience working on the ground and behind the scenes. This includes working for Oceana conducting feasibility studies and fundraising for new offices, campaigning against harmful fisheries subsidies, and most recently managing Oceana’s Office of the CEO. She also produced an award-winning documentary, Vey nou Lagon, which follows Georgie, a traditional artisanal fisher and his family as they tell the story of the Mauritian lagoons and advocate for the first national seasonal octopus fishing closure in Mauritius. Vey nou Lagon premiered in Mauritius in May 2016 with a powerful message for the sustainable use of our marine resources.
Zara has a B.A. in Environmental Biology from Williams College and a M.A. in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Growing up on an island and her studies have propelled her to lead meaningful ocean advocacy work. Zara brings extensive experience in project management, advocacy, and strategic communications towards the implementation of national policy change.