The ambition of the Reef-World Foundation to encourage dive operators to adopt eco-friendlier practices long seems to have been countered by slow take-up around the world – but now the UK-based charity hopes to accelerate the process with its new initiative, the Green Fins Hub.
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Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme-sponsored training programme administered by Reef-World. It reckons its new digital hub can help dive businesses and professionals to make simple, cost-efficient changes to their daily practices, keep track of their annual improvements and communicate their credentials to their communities and customers.
The charity is now offering to host two types of Green Fins membership. Digital membership, available globally, means that those who sign up receive annual environmental scores based on a detailed online self-evaluation and progress made on their action plans.
Existing Green Fins certified members will go on being assessed annually and trained in person at their place of operation. The assessment will still employ a scoring system based on set criteria but, as part of the Green Fins Hub, there will now be a minimum threshold for becoming a certified member, with rankings of bronze, silver or gold.
Reef-World explains that the new arrangement recognises that Green Fins members want to be differentiated on the basis of their performance in order to use their status as a marketing tool, while travelling divers want more information to help them choose which operation to favour.
A Green Fins “Community Forum” will be available for operators to raise and discuss issues and share lessons and ideas, while a “Solutions Library” will offer access to 100-plus proven environmental solutions. Members will also receive an annual sustainability action-plan with set goals.