Blue Ventures is proud to announce the launch of our first ecotourism and marine conservation expedition in Timor-Leste.
Eight international ecotourism volunteers, coming from Germany, India, Australia, Denmark, USA and the United Kingdom, have departed Dili for four weeks contributing to critical marine conservation on Ataúro Island. Working alongside local communities on the island, the volunteers will be trained in marine science surveying, participate in monitoring of sea-grass meadows and dugongs, and take part in coral reef and fish identification, monitoring and data collection.
In conjunction with partners, Ministry of Industry Commerce and Environment (MCIE), Special Economic Zones of Social Market Economy of Timor-Leste (ZEESM TL), Ministry of Tourism and other supporting organisations, Blue Ventures’ work will be part of the project ‘Enhancing the Conservation Effectiveness of Seagrass Ecosystems Supporting Globally Significant Populations of Dugongs across the Indian and Pacific Ocean Basins’ (The GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project).
Greg Duncan, Blue Ventures’ Country Coordinator for Timor-Leste said: “We’re proud to be one of the first organisations to bring people from all over the world to experience Timor-Leste’s exceptional marine biodiversity first-hand. Today’s volunteers are the first of many and we’re looking forward to working with communities on Ataúro and across the country to showcase and protect Timor-Leste’s stunning natural beauty for years to come.”
Since 2003, Blue Ventures has built a globally acclaimed conservation tourism social enterprise. Blue Ventures volunteers are trained to dive and study threatened coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats at project sites in remote tropical settings. Working alongside traditional fishing communities, Blue Ventures directly supports local conservation initiatives, putting profits back into grassroots conservation efforts across the world.
Blue Ventures work in Timor-Leste as a national partner of the GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project executed by The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, with financing from the GEF, implementation support by UNEP and technical support from the CMS Dugong MoU Secretariat.