|Town/Region||Puerto Galera, Mindoro|
|Categories||Corals, Education, Marine|
|Date||16 Jan 2012|
There is abundant evidence that the diving and snorkeling tourism industry can have a negative impact on the marine and coastal environment. While there is willingness in the diving industry to care for coral reefs as the industry’s primary asset, capacity is often limited. Access to guidance on relevant procedures and approaches to support the dive industry to implement responsible environmental practice is insufficient. This means that threats from irresponsible diving as well as other activities associated with diving industry development persist.
Green Fins promotes an environmental code of conduct to help manage this exploding industry and minimise the risks it poses to coral reefs and associated ecosystems. Furthermore, dive centres that voluntarily join the programme are evaluated against a set criterion by trained Green Fins Assessors and advised on how to improve environmental practices within their business.
Green Fins is a project supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which connects national and local governments, the dive and snorkel centres, local NGOs and tourists. Through the Green Fins Network these stakeholders are educated about marine ecology and better environmental practices for a sustainable tourism industry. The project is currently active in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and now the Philippines and is managed by the appropriate authorities in each country.
Advertisement on dive centre websites and a certificate of participation helps tourists to choose responsible dive centres. A number of educational materials are displayed in Green Fins dive shops and aboard the dive boats. Dive guides have access to education which encourages them to be responsible role models underwater and to use Green Fins Guidelines to give comprehensive environmental briefings before dives.
With this support from the RSGF the Regional Coordinators of the project, the Reef-World Foundation, will continue to assist the Philippine Government to strengthen and expand the programme in the Philippines and to build on the lessons learned in the introductory phase of this project by implementing localised projects to reduce the impact of the diving industry on the environment.
Read about Chloe's previous grant http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/chloe_hunt or for more information contact: