December 2012 Press release
London, 7th December: Winners of the British Youth Travel Awards 2012 were announced yesterday evening at an awards ceremony in London. Blue Ventures won the Best Volunteering Organisation Award in a year of unprecedented nominations.
The British Youth Travel Awards are organised by the British Educational Travel Association (BETA) to recognise and celebrate the work of organisations engaged in youth, student and educational travel, to, from and within the UK.
Blue Ventures' work in Madagascar and Belize was recognised because of its commitment to using responsible volunteer tourism to aid marine conservation and community work in some of the world's most economically and ecologically vulnerable countries.
Blue Ventures is a multiple award-winning international marine conservation organisation that works with local communities to conserve threatened marine and coastal environments, both protecting biodiversity and alleviating poverty. Through its expedition programmes, volunteers from all over the world join conservation activities during career breaks and student gap years, working closely with field research teams and always in partnership with local communities.
Blue Ventures' Volunteer and Expedition Coordinator Kate Guy said: "We are obviously delighted to be the first winners of this new Award, especially considering the very strong competition in this category. We're committed to demonstrating the enormous potential of socially and environmentally responsible tourism for driving sustainable development in some of the world's most marginalised communities".
Blue Ventures' expeditions were featured in the BBC's Indian Ocean series earlier this year, when the show visited Madagascar. "Blue Ventures does magnificent work, helping communities and offering extraordinary volunteering opportunities that you'll remember for the rest of your life" said the series presenter Simon Reeve after filming Blue Ventures' expedition site in the village of Andavadoaka.
Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. Through our marine expeditions, volunteers from around the world join us on career breaks, student gap years and internships, working closely with our field research teams, in partnership with local communities.
Blue Ventures' projects are focused in environmentally and culturally sensitive regions of the world. All project visitors are required to be aware that we are privileged guests in our host countries, towns and villages. We insist that all team members, acting as ambassadors to Blue Ventures, adapt their behaviour to recognise local cultural sensitivities. We have a responsibility to minimise negative impacts on local environments and communities where we work, as well as to provide tangible benefits to our host communities.
To find out more about Blue Ventures Expeditions visit our volunteer pages on our website.
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