|Categories||Corals, Education, Marine|
|Date||25 Feb 2013|
Over the last few decades there has been a global expansion of coral reef recreation, particularly scuba diving and snorkelling. As a result, there are concerns over the impact of mass marine tourism on fragile coral reef systems which are already under stress from various natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Tens of millions of people depend on coral reef ecosystems for the services they provide; this dependence is particularly high for coastal populations in south-east Asia. In addition to their high ecological value, coral reefs are of significant economic importance in terms of tourism revenue, fisheries and coastal defence. Coral reef conservation and management is therefore not only essential for the preservation of marine biodiversity, but also to ensure that the integrity of these ecosystem services can be preserved for future generations.
The GF approach, a project initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and being developed and managed by The Reef-World Foundation, initially targets the environmental practices of dive centres to implement a set of diving standards (The GFs Code of Conduct). An assessment protocol measures the level of compliance with these diving standards to enable long term monitoring of the environmental threats posed to coastal habitats by the scuba diving industry.
The overall objective of this project is “to strengthen the conservation, sustainability and wise management of coral reefs and associated coastal ecosystems by encouraging environmentally responsible diving tourism through implementation of the GF approach”. Following two very successful RSG, Reef-World will continue to support the National Team of the Philippines to continue to support sustainable national project development and expansion. Green Fins is now embedded in the institutional framework of the Philippine Government’s national coral reef conservation strategy 2013-2020. Therefore all marine resource managers will be required to implement Green Fins within active diving destinations. This RSG will support Reef-World to provide assistance and training for these resource managers as well as enabling project expansion across SE Asia to other popular diving destinations.
Read about Chloe's previous grants http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/chloe_hunt_0 or for more information contact: