The Green Fins environmental initiative has been launched in the Red Sea diving destination of Jordan, making it the 15th country in which marine-tourism operators have been given the opportunity to implement the programme.
UK charity the Reef-World Foundation, international co-ordinator of the UN Environment Programme initiative, says it is aiming to improve sustainability in Jordan’s diving industry by working with 15 operators, training 75 dive-guides and raising awareness of sustainability best practices among 15,000 tourists in the first year.
“Divers are willing to pay more for services provided by dive-centres that follow environmental regulations, and they expect dive-centres to be leading the way in protecting the ocean,” said Green Fins local team-leader Dominik Lee Zaax Wyszogrodzki. “Implementing Green Fins in Aqaba is going to open us up to new markets and bring us to be one of the top diving destinations in the world.”
Green Fins is being implemented in Jordan by the Aqaba Special Economy Zone Authority (ASEZA) supported by Germany’s economic co-operation & development ministry through the GIZ agency.
Jordan’s Green Fins team of five assessors and two co-ordinators were drawn from the Royal Jordanian Navy Forces, Aqaba Marine Reserve and University of Jordan and are led by ASEZA product director Thelma Redwan. They were instructed and assessed over a week in June by an all-female-led Reef-World Foundation training team.
The seven are now tasked with recruiting, assessing, training and certifying Jordanian dive and snorkel operators as Green Fins members, trained in coral reef ecology and threats, practical solutions to these threats and environmental standards.
Members are expected to identify priority areas to improve business sustainability performance and communicate their commitment to attract eco-minded tourists. Initially five Aqaba operators – Aqaba Adventure Divers, Arab Divers, Coral Garden Diving Centre, Deep Blue Dive Centre and Red Sea Dive Centre – have joined the Green Fins global network.
The last country to join that network was Japan a year ago, since when that country has gained 12 members. Egypt has the largest number of active members at 34; followed by the Philippines and Thailand (24 each), Indonesia (17); Malaysia (16); Costa Rica (11), Dominican Republic (10); Maldives (6) and Antigua & Barbuda (3).
Inactive status can mean that members have been unable to undergo their annual assessments, in many cases because of the Covid pandemic, says Reef-World.
1,500 PADI C-cards use recycled plastics
Training agency PADI is offering its divers a limited-edition certification card made from recycled plastics in recognition of “Plastic Free July”, and promises to donate US $10 from each card purchased to the charity PADI AWARE Foundation.
The 1,500 cards bear the “Great White Wonder” split-level shark image that cinematographer and wildlife conservationist Andy Casagrande captured in Mexico's Guadalupe when cage-diving trips there were still permitted. The up-to-$15,000 raised will go to support ocean conservation and marine-animal protection.
The certification cards are also available in e-card form, which can be delivered digitally via the PADI App. Plastic Free July is a global initiative originated in 2011 by Australia’s Plastic Free Foundation.
Also on Divernet: Green Fins gets toehold in Japan, Clued-up divers will pay to go green, Green Fins Dive Guide Course: Updated to Protect Marine Ecosystems, PADI names first 11 Eco Centres on Earth Day