A new membership which is available to everyone!
Green Fins digital membership is an explosion of 20 years of marine tourism sustainability experience backed by a world-first digital platform to meet the growing industry demand for Green Fins.
- The Reef-World Foundation have developed a new type of online membership that will make Green Fins available globally
- This will not be replacing the original Green Fins certified membership but will be offered in locations where operators cannot be assessed yet by a local Green Fins team
- This will be accessed through the new platform: the Green Fins Hub
- Operators will be scored by answers to a detailed online self-evaluation, and the progress of their action plan throughout the year of membership
- Interested? Sign up to be a Digital Member!
Why create a new type of membership?
Demand for Green Fins membership has grown substantially in the past decade. What started in 2004 as a small project in Phuket, Thailand, is now a globally recognised initiative spanning three continents. 14 countries have implemented the Green Fins initiative and over 700 marine tourism operators have pledged to follow the Green Fins Code of Conduct.
For a country to become ‘active’, Reef-World staff must first coordinate a series of country visits to liaise with governments, NGOs and marine tourism businesses. Once agreements are made and Green Fins is established, Reef-World staff then host an intensive week of training for a local team of experienced divers, government officials and NGO employees to become Green Fins assessors. These assessors will then recruit, assess and support dive and snorkel operators to become Green Fins Certified Members. After this training programme, the new location becomes self-sufficient and continues to run Green Fins as part of their annual government activities to promote marine conservation and sustainable tourism.
Green Fins implementation proves time and time again to be successful in reducing marine tourism impact on coral reef ecosystems. However, it is also quite time-consuming! And unfortunately, time is not something we have a lot of if we want to protect and conserve the world’s coral reefs. A shocking 95% of global coral reefs are currently under threat from human activity, ranging from global threats such as climate change to localised threats, including those from diving and snorkelling activities.
There is a huge demand for Green Fins from operations outside the areas accessed by the Green Fins assessor teams. While all the Green Fins materials are freely available on the Green Fins website, we knew we needed to provide another type of membership in the meantime that can be accessed by all marine tourism businesses, no matter the location. And just like that, the Green Fins digital membership was born!
The structure of digital membership
Much of the digital membership structure will be similar to that of certified membership. A marine tourism business must show interest in improving their environmental practices and get in touch with us to sign up for membership. They will then go through a process of learning how to be more sustainable, receive support to identify top priorities and apply proven solutions to their business and receive exciting membership benefits for an entire year, before going through the process all over again.
There are also some differences too, such as:
- The digital membership process will be entirely online, delivered through the new Green Fins Hub
- In order to help expand the Green Fins initiative globally and sustain the Hub, there will be an annual fee of $140 for the first year, then $60 each year after. The fees are used to improve and maintain the Green Fins Hub platform and expand the Green Fins initiative globally so Reef-World can continue to support Green Fins Members.
- The operation manager will conduct an online self-evaluation of their business
- After the evaluation, they will choose a personalised action plan from a list of recommended solutions generated from their responses to the self-evaluation
- Throughout the year, Digital Members can improve their environmental Green Fins score by engaging with the exclusive Hub features:-
- Keeping track on applying solutions to the workplace and logging their progress in their Action Plan
- Reading from the extensive Solutions Library for inspiration from the experts at Reef-World based on case studies collected around the world over almost 2 decades
- Comment, connect, teach and learn with other members in the Community Forum, the first global community of marine tourism operators, industry professionals and conservation experts.
- This will be available in September 2022
- Dive, snorkel and liveaboard operations who sign up to be Digital Members will benefit from the following:
- A named Green Fins certificate of digital membership to print and display in their operation
- Use of the Green Fins Digital Member logo and QR code for marketing materials
- Green Fins website listing
- Enhanced listing on booking platforms such as PADI Travel and ZuBlu
- Make a real environmental difference and meet Sustainable Development Goals (12 & 14) and ISO Standards 21416 / 21417.
Digital membership allows Reef-World to invite the entire marine tourism industry to the Green Fins network for the first time. If you have any queries about these changes to the initiative, please contact us at [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help.