PATA | Contact

All posts tagged Reef World

Green Fins #AlternativesToAnchoring Infographic Release!

Categories: Featured Post, Sea
Comments Off on Green Fins #AlternativesToAnchoring Infographic Release!

#AlternativesToAnchoring is the second Action Point of the Green Fins IYOR 2018 social media campaign! If you have been following the campaign, you might have noticed that it aims to support divers and dive businesses to take further action by sharing and providing solutions to some of the biggest threats. By doing so we will be saving coral reefs from mass extinction and the livelihoods of the more than 200 million people who depend on healthy and balanced coral reef ecosystems.

 

Do you know exactly how an anchor can damage marine ecosystems? What are environmentally friendly alternatives? There is no one answer when it comes to finding alternatives to anchoring, however, this campaign will serve as a platform to inspire action and change in others by sharing the stories of success gathered by more than 10 years of working with the industry.

 

Find ALL the solutions to these and more questions on the NEWLY RELEASED infographic:

 

Follow this link to share the infographic with your fellow divers!

 

Follow the different Green Fins social media platforms to get involved and make a change. Because if you don’t…who will?

 

Facebook| Twitter| Instagram| YouTube|Deepblu

 

For more information on the International Year of the Reef 2018 follow this link:  www.iyor2018.org

Want to be part of the movement? Find all the campaign content here.

 

Thanks to Dive.in magazine to help us develop the infographic!

 

Reef-World’s campaign partners are:

UN Environment, Fourth Element, PATA, Six Senses Laamu and Explorer Ventures.

 

See the first Action Point here.

Share

How to grow your business and give back to the marine environment using the Green Fins Handbook

Categories: Blog Posts
Comments Off on How to grow your business and give back to the marine environment using the Green Fins Handbook

by JJ Harvey, Operations Manager, Reef-World Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

The modern traveller is not what they used to be. The game has changed and competition amongst businesses is as high as it has ever been. In a similar situation to people applying for work they need to have a CV that stands above the rest, something that has that wow factor or provides an edge on the competition. The same can be said within the tourism industry, where hotels and resorts need to be more than just current with the latest trends, they need to be thinking ahead and predicting what their guests might like, want or need. Nowadays there are standard facilities which are expected by guests and tourists such as a door key card or WiFi Internet which needs to be fast to prevent disappointment and frustration leading to the modern day phenomenon of what can only be described as ‘buffer face.’

Then there are those businesses that are leading the pack and coming out with innovations and new approaches that provide their business with those all-important reviews to keep those customers returning. When you look at these businesses there is a common theme within those that are leading pack. These are the businesses that are not only reducing their impact on the marine environment but are actually contributing to it in a positive manner. It is not enough to be able to have a digital readout near the check-in desk of the amount of CO2 that has been offset from the photovoltaic panels that adorn the roof top. Leading businesses in the tourism industry need to show, either by involving their guests or somehow exposing to them the ways in which their holiday has helped positively contribute to the very environment in which they have come to see in the first place.

When it is time for guests to check out of their hotel or resort and head home, they want to be able to leave with a sense of fulfilment and feeling like that they have got great value for their money. In addition to this, they want to know that they have not negatively contributed to the demise of the local environment. Nothing could be worse than a holiday maker sitting in their seat on the aeroplane on their flight home and feeling that if they come back it won’t be the same. We have all overheard countless conversations of people on holiday referring to places they have been to in the past and saying “well it isn’t the same now of course.”

This is because many places succumb to overdevelopment, beautiful landscapes that have been cleared to make way for more and more rooms, paths and trails that have been overused bereft of wildlife or perhaps a coastline with beaches that have become full of cigarette butts or empty plastic bottles. The likelihood of that tourists returning to such places is low. This is not a good business plan.

Leading businesses need to have that a wow factor that pulls in guests so that they or their friends come back year on year. This is where being able to positively contribute to the environment can result in the environment giving back to the business. A environment that is thriving can lead to a simple return on their investment such as getting free marketing through social media snaps online promoting your business and location for you. Nothing sells your business better than a smiling tourist with a pristine natural environment on Instagram or Facebook. They not only do it better than you can but it costs you nothing! #thankyouverymuch

The marine tourism industry is a perfect example of this. Divers and snorkelers have high expectations and are easily put off a location on their first trip if they don’t see what they should. They will quite happily go somewhere else with their charged GoPros in their endless pursuit of making their friends jealous. Corals that are teeming with fish, clear waters with no floating plastic and a curious turtle that isn’t afraid of people are the perfect examples of what people have on their holiday tick list.

Hotels and resorts that provide marine tourism attractions such as SCUBA diving and snorkelling excursions are often not aware of the simple things that they could do to ensure they are doing the best they can so that they aren’t negatively harming the very environment that they rely on. A simple example of this is that most managers have never checked what their staff are cleaning their boats with. Marine toilets, the outside hull, on-board sinks, guest seating areas and other areas are often regularly cleaned with household cleaning products that are not designed for the marine environment. Chemical cleaning products that have bleach or anti-bacterial agents in them can have serious consequences for fish and corals. Coastal environments in tourist hotspots are already under a significant level of impact from development and run-off and direct inputs from chemical cleaning agents are an unnecessary addition that leads to fish and other marine life being driven away. This can result in guests who might not even get in the water but instead will just watch from the dry safety of the pontoon or pool edge might not see this free’ wow’ factor. A missed opportunity.

In much the same way that managers and business owners look to educate themselves or their team on how they can get a leading edge in marketing through online tutorials or searching the web for some insider business knowledge to provide them with tips and tricks, there is a unique solution for marine tourism business owners from the Green Fins initiative. Green Fins is on the crest of the wave when it comes to unique approaches to conserving coral reefs. The approach helps to unite politics and marine conservation efforts to ensure the sustainability of popular diving destinations around the world. Established through a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and The Reef-World Foundation, Green Fins uses a proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centres, strengthening regulations, and environmental education for dive staff, divers and governments. Over 450 dive and snorkel operators across eight countries have signed up for free membership, and are using Green Fins as a platform to set examples of sustainable business operations. Participating members are awarded a certificate based on annual assessments that is co-signed by the national government, the United Nations, and The Reef-World Foundation.

To fill the gap for the other countries that do not have a trained national Green Fins team that can provide onsite training and certification of the business, the team behind Green Fins have developed a handbook based on 10 years of experience for businesses to download. The solutions to common issues such as waste management, recycling and how to train your staff to prevent damage to the marine environment have been collated and developed into an online guide. This Dive and Snorkel Centre Operational Handbook has links to short training videos, pictures and downloadable attractive multi-lingual posters that are easily accessed. Using a 15 point Code of Conduct developed by the UN and endorsed by PATA, this step by step guide provides simple tips and tricks that can be implemented at a range of businesses whether it is a large chain with over 100 dive centres or a small business that provides occasional snorkel tours.

This handbook was developed in response to the huge demand from diving and snorkel centre managers and owners who were looking for a comprehensive yet simple and realistic guide on business practices and practical solutions that can help the marine environment cope with the increasing levels of tourists. There is the added benefit that scientific studies have shown such businesses practices that put the environment first before revenue generation lead to destinations that are better equipped to withstand the impacts of climate change. For example, coral reefs that are visited by SCUBA diving businesses that follow best practice are far less likely to bleach or become diseased during extended warm periods.

The Green Fins Handbook can be purchased via the Green Fins website for only $25. If you want to know more or want to contact them directly, you can email info[at]greenfins.net.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Share

Conservationist Chloe Harvey is back with part two of this fantastic three-part series documenting Ginette Bariteau’s incredible journey to improve the way her business deals with the environment

Ginette Bariteau: Team-meeting-introducing-Green-Fins-min

“The assessment process highlighted areas where Ginette and her team are really stepping above and beyond the norm in terms of managing their risk to the local environment.”

Ginette Bariteau owns Scuba 6 Eco in Panama and first stumbled across Green Fins in May this year. Since then she has downloaded the Green Fins Dive and Snorkel Centre Handbook and has been working systematically to implement the environmental code of best practice within her operations ever since.

Changing our way of life towards one focused more on sustainable living can feel a little overwhelming, how on earth do we know where to start? Using a unique assessment system based on risk to marine biodiversity, the Green Fins approach helps dive businesses to identify high risk practices. They can then prioritise action and use the comprehensive Green Fins guidance material to identify realistic and low-cost alternatives. With the support of The Reef-World Foundation, international coordinators of Green Fins, Ginette assessed the performance of her current environmental practices and identified three clear priority actions to focus on addressing in the short term.

Continue reading on underwater 360.

Read more

Share

Buying Marine Life Souvenirs

Categories: Non-Profit, Planet, Recommended Reading, Wildlife
Comments Off on Buying Marine Life Souvenirs

Although it’s natural to want to take a bit of our vacation home with us as remembrance, buying marine life souvenirs is never a good idea.

Souvenirs souvenirs_cover

Most of us never want our dive vacations to end. Leaving those sun-soaked beaches and post-dive afternoon naps is often a hard pill to swallow. So it’s natural that we want to bring home souvenirs to remind us of our trip. A beach-seller’s bracelet is a remembrance of carefree days once you return to the daily routine, and supporting local traders is a worthwhile goal. But as tourists, we must make responsible choices when it comes to shopping, taking care particularly to avoid buying marine life souvenirs. By Chloë Harvey, Programs Manager, The Reef-World Foundation. Read more.

Share

The Power of the Marine Tourism Industry in Fighting Climate Change

Categories: Blog Posts
Comments Off on The Power of the Marine Tourism Industry in Fighting Climate Change

ฺby JJ Harvey, International Coordinator, Green Fins

 

marine tourism resized-james-harvey-bio-shot

It is not often that people associate the SCUBA diving industry or snorkelers with being a potential leader when it comes to fighting climate change or other marine conservation aspects in today’s climate. However, due to initiatives such as Green Fins, more and more diving and snorkelling businesses are becoming the new weapon in the fight to ensure the sustainability of one of the world’s fastest and increasingly popular activities in what is now the world’s fastest growing industry – tourism.

Green Fins is paving the way to unite politics and marine conservation efforts to ensure the sustainability of popular diving destinations around the world. Established through a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and The Reef-World Foundation, Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centres, strengthening regulations, and environmental education for dive staff, divers and governments. Over 400 dive and snorkel operators across six countries have signed up for free membership, and are using Green Fins as a platform to set examples of sustainable business operations. Participating members are awarded a unique certificate based on annual assessments that is co-signed by the national government, the United Nations, and The Reef-World Foundation.

Read more

Share

Greening the Dive Business: One Woman’s Quest to Take on the World (Part 1)

Categories: Recommended Reading
Comments Off on Greening the Dive Business: One Woman’s Quest to Take on the World (Part 1)

Dive Business: Ginette_-Coral_Identification

This blue world is changing. In the last century the global sea level has risen almost 20 centimetres, we have lost half of our wildlife in the past four decades, and this year, our oceans are facing one of the worst coral bleaching events in history. Our marine ecosystem is delicately balancing on an uncertain edge, and there is no group better placed for attempting to rescue it than the dive industry. Heading this industry are the myriad dive centres that stand on the beaches of far-flung islands, and dive-tourism hotspots – these are the ones who can help kick-start change. By Chloe Harvey, The Reef-World Foundation.

Continue reading on underwater 360!

Share

Diving into Conservation

Categories: Recommended Reading, Sea, Southeast, Water, Wildlife
Comments Off on Diving into Conservation
Photo: Reef World Foundation/Green Fins

Photo: Reef World Foundation/Green Fins

I was that kid who spent most of his life underwater. I would spend hours swimming around the bottom of the pool, trying to see without the use of a mask, and testing the boundaries of a new world. Whether peering at it through chlorine-filled red eyes, or between winces trying to ignore another ear infection, I have always been fascinated with the underwater environment. I couldn’t wait to learn to dive and I decided at a young age that I would make it my life’s ambition to work with our seas and oceans. That kid is now a professional SCUBA diver and marine biologist working in international conservation focussing largely upon sustainable diving and marine tourism. By JJ Harvey. Read more.

Share