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Blue Ventures conservationist becomes first Malagasy national to achieve PADI instructor certification

London, 27th January 2010. Blue Ventures is proud to announce that Georges ‘Bic’ Manahira, a conservationist at its groundbreaking research site in Andavadoaka, southwest Madagascar and the longest serving member of staff on site has recently been certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) as Madagascar’s first Open Water Scuba Instructor.

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An enormous personal and professional achievement for Bic, this qualification is the culmination of a 6 year journey, rising from working as an electrician in the Andavadoaka region to working at the forefront of Blue Ventures’ dynamic volunteer-led research programme. Making the journey from Andavadoaka to London and taking the professional exams in English, his third language, Bic achieved this qualification on the 15th December and has since returned to Madagascar to take up duties as an OWSI for Blue Ventures. This also provides further evidence of the new generation of conservationists emerging from coastal communities on the very frontline of climate change and leading the way in the development of innovative and effective conservation methods in both the developing world and beyond.

Founder and Research Director of Blue Ventures, Al Harris commented, “I am thrilled that Bic has passed, it is an incredible achievement. All of us at Blue Ventures are very proud of him”.

 

 

About Blue Ventures

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Blue Ventures is a London‐based 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.

In recent years Blue Ventures has won widespread international acclaim for it’s innovate approaches to addressing the challenges faced by coastal communities. Its recent accolades include the United Nations' Equator Prize and SEED Award, two of the most prestigious global awards for biodiversity conservation.

Amongst other achievements Blue Ventures has created the largest community‐managed marine reserve in the Indian Ocean ‐ Velondriake ‐ and pioneered ambitious research programmes tackling critical issues facing marine biodiversity and indigenous coastal communities.

Blue Ventures’ programme portfolio encompasses marine and fisheries research, sustainable aquaculture, family planning, environmental education and capacity building, fisheries management and protected area development.

Projects are now focusing on scaling‐up conservation activities at national and international levels in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Blue Ventures is a social enterprise ‐ innovating new approaches to financing marine conservation, and generating almost all of its own conservation funding independently. Business models include highly acclaimed ecotourism and carbon offsetting programmes, as well as community‐based sustainable aquaculture projects.

Having diversified revenues considerably in recent years, we are now poised to launch an innovative new model for the sustainable financing of marine reserves, a ground‐breaking project with potential for massive replication throughout the world's tropical oceans.

Interviews with Bic can be arranged with the Blue Ventures London office.

For more information, please contact Richard Nimmo or Raj Roy on +44 (0)20 3176 0548.