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"To protect and conserve coral reefs by establishing and implementing environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry."
Green Fins was originally initiated in 2004 by the United Nations Environment (UNEP) under the Regional Seas programme as part of the effort to increase public awareness and management practices that will benefit the conservation of coral reefs and reduce unsustainable tourism practices. It is overseen by the Coral Reef Unit of UN Environment based in Bangkok in collaboration with UK charity The Reef-World Foundation.
Green Fins is a comprehensive approach that encourages dive centres and snorkel operators, local communities and governments to work together to reduce their environmental impacts. This is primarily done through the private sector adopting a Code of Conduct that will help mitigate their impacts when carrying out marine tourism activities.
The Code of Conduct consists of 15 points, which target environmental threats posed by the tourism industry, both under water and on land. Green Fins members receive the training and the tools to promote environmental education and awareness, tapping into the tourists and the diving community, which is shifting more and more towards eco-friendly initiatives as a result of the demand from the consumer.
Green Fins dives even deeper as it creates a network through which dive centres, local and national governments and communities who work together to tackle local environmental threats to protect livelihoods and food security.
Members, who join for free, receive annual assessments, training and feedback to help them achieve the Code of Conduct points, that not only standardises membership but also allows a system for measurable progress and collaboration between stakeholders.
There is an ever expanding network of dive operators worldwide who are involved in the initiative. Green Fins is managed in each country by a National Management Team made up of government departments and often supported by national NGO's. These teams are trained and supported by the International Coordinators of the project,The Reef-World Foundation whose role is to focus on expanding the project to additional member countries in the region and to strengthen the existing network through capacity development.
The National Management Teams are responsible for expanding Green Fins in their respective countries and to produce educational and public awareness materials while promoting the successes of the approach. Local Management Teams are often used as a way to better manage the members in a particular tourist ‘hotspot’ who take their direction from the National Management Team and the International Coordinators.
This website is used to coordinate between all participating countries. More information on each participating country can be found on the country pages or visiting their own respective website. This website is also used to manage the Assessments through a secure database on the website that not only helps address major problems of the scuba and snorkel tourism industry on a larger scale but also demonstrates how effective the project is through monitoring annual improvements in environmental impacts form the Green Fins member.