The Conservation Volunteers - International
BTCV - International's 65 projects offer you a unique experience, the chance to do something practical for the country you visit and make a contribution to conservation on a global scale. Living and working with the local community means that you get a real insight into a country's culture and its people. You don't need to be experienced in conservation work to take part.
The holidays are all about learning new skills, sharing experiences and swapping ideas. Working alongside volunteers from other countries, they're also a great way to make new friends. Every holiday comes with lots of free time to relax, explore your surroundings, see the sights and have fun.
Each trip has a similar structure with an experienced leader co-ordinating the work programme with a local host organisation, looking after the needs of the volunteers and ensuring everyone has a good time. The host organisation identifies the work or research required and organises the materials, accommodation and tools.
Member since: 31 Jan 2002
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- Accommodation varies from community halls, to homestays or family owned pensions.
- Where possible food is sourced from locally supplied produce and ideally from organic sources. In some project the local communities grow the food specifically for the BTCV projects
- BTCV volunteers are encouraged to spend their relaxation time using local facilities and resources.
- BTCV holidays are run to improve the local environment or recreational facilities, for example footpaths. This helps local communities maintain their sustainable tourism infrastructure.
All BTCV projects make a contribution to protecting or improving the environment.
- BTCV attracts people with environmental concerns and therefore has put in place a policy that aims to minimise its effect on the environment of all its activities. It achieves this through an annual environmental audit, which has established a benchmark from which all activities are monitored, and standards to which all offices are working to reach. Practical implementation is achieved by:All paper being recycled
Using LPG vehicles where possible
Purchasing from companies with environmental policies and goods
Use of public transport where possible
Limiting travel by using electronic communications
Using energy saving devices
- Information sheets before the start of the holiday and leaders during the holiday highlight relevant environmental issues and offer best practice examples to volunteers for example providing maps, timetables and offering a public transport destination as a pickup point
- All holidays actively encourage volunteers to participate in local visits during their holiday. These often include an aspect of education on the local environment.
- Information sheets before the start of the holiday and leaders during the holiday highlight relevant social issues and offer best practice examples to volunteers, for example, use of fair trade products.
- BTCV holidays maybe developed with local partners and community representatives where appropriate. This consultation serves to minimise negative impacts on local cultures. This is often developed through a more complete integration into the local community, by working alongside them to achieve a conservation objective.
- All holidays actively encourage volunteers to participate in local visits during their holiday. These often include an aspect of education on social and cultural practices.
- By working with other similar organisations around the world BTCV has helped established an accreditation system ensuring a system of good practice in all aspects of conservation volunteering from standards of health and safety to ensuring good practice in employment procedures.