A unique conservation approach for managing tourism impacts on coral reefs
The only internationally recognised environmental code of conduct for diving and snorkelling
A robust assessment system measures businesses’ environmental performance
Proven to influence core business practice and measurably reduce negative environmental impacts
Supports the development or strengthening of relevant regulatory frameworks
The Green Fins initiative
Mission Statement: “To protect and conserve coral reefs by establishing and implementing environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry.”
Vision: Sustainable diving is the norm
We are working towards a future where environmentally friendly practices are standard across the marine tourism industry
Green Fins is coordinated internationally by The Reef-World Foundation in partnership with the UN Environment Programme. It is implemented in each country by a national team composed of government staff (often in collaboration with NGOs). The approach is proven and replicable and has been adopted by 11 countries and around 600 individual marine tourism companies since its inception in 2004.
The Green Fins Code of Conduct
Green Fins promotes best practice in responsible marine tourism by providing the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry.
Environmental guidelines, based on a 15-point Code of Conduct, help marine tourism operators minimise their environmental impact both above and below the water. There are many tools and resources available, free of charge, to help both members and non-members implement the Code of Conduct and become more sustainable.
Green Fins Assessments
Each year, active members undergo an assessment which evaluates their level of environmental impact and ensures they improve year on year. During an assessment, the assessor will observe the dive or snorkel centre’s practices and recommend points for improvement over the following year.
The individual feedback and support provided to help implement these changes is based on the assessor’s evaluation of each company’s area of highest negative impact on the reef. This can include practical, low-cost alternatives to common threats to the marine environment such as anchoring, provision of single-use plastics and lack of awareness of regulations. Green Fins certificates are awarded based on ongoing improvements.
Green Fins Training
When Green Fins is implemented in a new country, Reef-World works with national and local government bodies and local NGOs to train them as implementing partners. This capacity building ensures the sustainability of the Green Fins model, helps governments put the environment at the forefront of their agenda and bridges the communication gap often seen between government and the private sector.
Green Fins assessors deliver regular environmental training to communities working in the dive and snorkel industry at tourism hotspots. This training provides solutions to help them reduce their environmental threats and maximise their conservation potential.
Supporting and Strengthening Regulations
Green Fins assessment data is used to inform the development of regulations by the government. This has been in the form of national legislation integrating the Green Fins approach into country wide environmental initiatives, to local legislation supporting dive shops in following best practice.
Green Fins provides the tools to support industry compliance to the Sustainable Diving and Snorkelling ISO (ISO 21416 and 21417).
Governments use Green Fins outputs to report on their obligations to international environmental conventions (SDGs, Aichi targets, ICRI, CTI-CFF,)
If you are working for a government or NGO interested in adopting Green Fins or learning more about how to use Green Fins tools to engage your tourism industry and protect your marine environment, please contact Reef-World at [email protected] / [email protected]