The Reef-World Foundation has launched a new online Green Fins Hub which will assist Green Fins members in developing best environmental practices for marine tourism.
The Hub will include a community forum where members can discuss sustainable marine tourism with like-minded operators, NGOs, governments and industry partners; a solutions library with information on how to implement best practices; and an action plan to track, collaborate and improve operation’s conservation efforts.
It is hoped the new digital programme will increase Green Fins membership from the current 700 operators spread across 14 countries to a potential 30,000 operators worldwide.
‘Coral reefs, home to at least 25 per cent of marine life, are the mecca for marine-related tourism, contributing up to 40 per cent or more of the gross domestic product in some island nations,’ said Leticia Carvalho, Principal Coordinator, Marine and Freshwater at the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). ‘Increasing accessibility of best practice, knowledge and citizen science through this global digital hub can be a game changer in ensuring a future for coral reefs and other fragile marine ecosystems.’
The Green Fins Hub is the latest development by The Reef-World Foundation to meet the growing industry demand for environmentally-friendly underwater sports. The foundation recently surveyed more than 2,400 dive tourists and professionals, 83 per cent of whom said they seek out marine tour operators with a firm commitment to sustainability.
Digital membership to the Green Fins programme will be available to dive, snorkel and liveaboard operators around the world, with membership based around a detailed online self-assessment of their operation’s environmental practices.
The Green Fins Certified Membership programme will continue in its existing format with an annual assessment and training provided in person by Green Fins certified staff.
‘As the world’s leading initiative dedicated to environmental guidelines that promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling industry, we knew that to reduce the global environmental footprint of scuba diving, we had to work closely with Reef-World’s Green Fins initiative,’ said Katie Thompson Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at PADI. ‘That’s why we have worked together to conceptualise and refine Green Fins Hub; now every one of our amazing PADI Members can join a community committed to positive change, and work towards a more sustainable future one step at a time.’
For more information about Green Fins and the new Digital Hub, visit www.greenfins.net/digital-membership/