The Reef-World Foundation is a UK-based charity that has worked with local people to conserve coral reefs in South East Asia, the world centre for biodiversity, for over 20 years. Its field of expertise is working with both the marine tourism industry community and local communities to provide information about coral reefs and the associated marine life and helping members of those communities find their own role in wider plans to protect reefs and related ecosystems in the face of a changing climate.
The Green Fins initiative for sustainable dive tourism was originally established by UNEP and Reef World in 2004. Reef-World participates in the UNEP-Regional Seas Global Coral Reef Partnership, and is the lead technical partner on Green Fins development and implementation internationally. The approach encompasses three main elements; a 15-point environmental code of conduct for dive centres complemented by a robust assessment system to monitor and promote compliance; support towards developing or strengthening implementation of relevant regulatory frameworks; and strategic outreach to and capacity building among dive centres and their customers as well as government partners. Green Fins has been introduced to six countries in Asia and the total membership has stands at over 400 diving and snorkelling operators who are continuously improving their business practices to mitigate negative environmental impacts.
PATA & The Reef-World Foundation signed an organisational partnership agreement in March 2016 recognising the positive impacts that their mutual support and endorsement can have in the areas of marine conservation and in the sustainable development of marine initiatives and opportunities.
The specific objectives of this partnership include the mutual support and endorsement of both organisations, as well as collaboration in awareness building and knowledge sharing on related issues. As part of the agreement, PATA officially endorses Reef-World and Green Fins, a management approach to promote and measure compliance to an environmental code of conduct for sustainable diving and snorkelling activities for destinations, dive operators and related ancillary products and services. PATA members will also have access to relevant information that relates specifically to diving, snorkelling and marine tourism.
The Green Fins Toolbox is a collection of over ten years’ experience from working with over 400 dive centres to apply environmental standards without compromising your customer’s experience. From recipes for environmental cleaning products to posters to educate and engage your guests to helping you protect the reefs, the Green Fins Toolbox houses a suite of materials ready to download below!
These books have been designed for individuals, businesses, organisations and governments to support the implementation of the Green Fins approach, collectively reducing threats to coral reefs and other marine environments from the marine tourism industry.
By sharing their knowledge and their passion, the diving industry has recently guided the development of nine brand new “Green Fins How-to-videos”, designed to guide business managers how to easily implement the Code of Conduct and to show divers exactly what they should expect from an environmentally friendly dive centre.
They will be completely free for anyone to see and to use; you don’t even need to be working for a Green Fins member! Just follow the Green Fins website, YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to become part of the community and see sustainable diving in action!
- Pre-Dive Environmental Briefing
- How-to-Manage Underwater Photographers
- Implementing Good Garbage Management on Boats
- How To Give An Environmental Boat Briefing
- Guiding Divers Towards Best Environmental Practice
- How To Use Alternatives to Anchoring
- Implement Good Garbage Management Practices
- How To Make Reusable Tank Caps
- Eco Friendly Cleaning Tips for Diving and Snorkelling
How to grow your business and give back to the marine environment using the Green Fins Handbook: JJ Harvey, Reef-World Operations Manager discusses how businesses can “lead the pack” by reducing their impact on the marine environment and showing their guests how to do the same.
On the Front Lines: The Green Fins’ Approach to Coral Reef Protection: this article outlines the importance of sustainable diving practices and what Green Fins is, it also serves as in introduction to the initiative to the new social network and interactive, shareable logbook for divers, Deepblu.
Ambassadors of Hope for our Oceans: To celebrate World Oceans Day this article features the story of King Ramos and Ole Emnace, Green Fins Ambassadors, and how they use their knowledge on environmental practices to encourage divers to protect the marine environment.