05 Feb Responsible Diving and Snorkeling the Green Fins Way
The tide is turning for marine tourism in Indonesia with the launch of Green Fins in January 2018. Green Fins provides an opportunity for dive operators to be recognized role models for sustainable tourism by improving their business practices to be more environmentally friendly within a global framework.
With the popularity of marine tourism growing every year, some snorkelers and divers unknowingly harm the marine environment. Green Fins’ tools for marine tourism operators aims to help reduce one of the impacts to reefs and help coral reefs be more resilient to large-scale threats such as climate change.
Many people new to diving or snorkelling can unknowingly harm coral reefs by accidentally stepping on coral, by not having appropriate buoyancy control, or by touching the reefs. These habits maybe small but tiny amounts of depletion by a large amount of people over a sustained period of time can create drastic structural changes in reef ecosystems.
Established in 2004, by the UN Environment, Green Fins is an international standard for environmentally-friendly diving and snorkeling and an active network of dive and snorkel centers, governments and local communities in Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Palau, all working to protect our marine environment.
Green Fins encourages dive centers and snorkel operators, local communities and governments to work together to reduce their environmental impacts on the marine environment. The Green Fins initiative achieves results by the private sector, mainly dive operators, adopting a Code of Conduct that will help mitigate their impacts when carrying out marine tourism activities.
When a dive operator joins Green Fins they are making a commitment to protect coral reefs by agreeing to critically assess all aspects of their day-to-day operations to make sure they are doing the best they can to limit their impact on the reefs. They are given a set of tools and an actionable step-by-step guide to achieve results. They’re assessed on compliance within the Code of Conduct and given a risk score. The assessor discusses the risk score, talks about strengths and challenges and provides 3 action points to focus on the for the coming year.
Members, who join for free, receive annual assessments, training and feedback to help them achieve the Code of Conduct points, that not only standardizes membership but also allows a system for measurable progress and collaboration between stakeholders.
After a week long training with the Green Fins coordinators from The Reef-World Foundation, the new Green Fins assessors Marthen Welly and Wira Sanjaya from CTC; Demas Derian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and Made Suwena of the Bali Professional Divers Association are now ready to work with the diving industry to promote environmentally-responsible marine tourism.
To find out more about Green Fins and to download useful posters for free click here (also available in Chinese on request).
Dive shops who are interested to become Green Fins members may send an email to Indonesia@greenfins.net