20 January 2011, Washington DC. Public voting begins today for the Geotourism Challenge 2010, an international competition to find the world’s most innovative and sustainable tourism solutions for coastal destinations.
Blue Ventures’ marine expeditions in Madagascar have been selected as one of 12 finalists in recognition of their innovative approaches to conserving fragile marine and coastal habitats, and to create sustainable livelihoods to support the culture and traditions of Madagascar’s Vezo fishing people.
Finalists were selected from a field of 250 entries from 54 countries in this unique online competition, run by Ashoka Changemakers and the National Geographic Society. Judges for the competition include renowned ocean explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, the National Geographic Society’s Vice President for research, conservation and exploration John Francis, and the World Conservation Union’s Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre.
Blue Ventures is an award-winning international marine conservation organisation dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. Through its marine expedition programmes, volunteers from around the world join conservation programmes as part of career breaks, student gap years and internships, working closely with field conservation teams in partnership with local communities.
“It’s a privilege and great honour for us to be considered for this important global award alongside some of the world’s most visionary geotourism providers” said Katie Guy, Blue Ventures’ expeditions and volunteer coordinator. “This recognition is a testament to the tremendous commitment of our staff and partner communities working around the world. Their tireless efforts demonstrate the powerful role that responsible tourism can play in conserving some of the planet’s most important coastal heritage.”
For almost a decade Blue Ventures has been committed to demonstrating the scalable potential of geotourism to bring lasting benefits to people and biodiversity in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities. Blue Ventures continues to inspire numerous other organisations throughout the Indian Ocean to tackle marine conservation issues, and tirelessly champions grassroots community-based conservation as a fundamental cornerstone of sustainable coastal development.
You can vote for Blue Ventures’ entry here (http://www.changemakers.com/node/96572?breadcrumb_type=finalists)
About National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest non-profit scientific and educational organisations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 25 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines.
About Ashoka’s Changemakers
Ashoka’s Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other. Through its online collaborative competitions and open-source process, Changemakers.com is one of the world’s most robust spaces for launching, discussing, and funding ideas to solve the world’s most pressing social problems.
About Blue Ventures
Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation, dedicated to working with local communities to conserve threatened marine environments. Our highly acclaimed conservation programmes work with some of the world’s poorest coastal communities to develop conservation and alternative income initiatives to protect biodiversity and coastal livelihoods. The results of our work help us to propose new ideas to benefit coastal communities everywhere.
For more information about Blue Ventures’ expeditions, please see http://www.blueventures.org/expeditions.html
For more information about Blue Ventures’ conservation work, visit http://www.blueventures.org/research.html
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