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2020 Green Fins Award winners announced

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The 2020 Green Fins Award recognises the world’s most environmentally friendly dive centres

The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – is delighted to announce the winners of the coveted 2020 Green Fins Award are:

  • Bubbles Dive Centre, Pulau Perhentian, Malaysia,
  • Flora Bay Divers, Pulau Perhentian, Malaysia
  • And Tioman Dive Centre, Pulau Tioman, Malaysia

The prestigious annual award recognises the Green Fins member with the lowest environmental impact. This year, competition was so tight there was not one, but three winners all tied in first place. What’s more, all three of the winners and seven of the global top 10 centres are based in Malaysia!

The winning dive operators were chosen from the 600-strong network of Green Fins members by a rigorous assessment of business practices. To be eligible for the award, the operator must have had its latest assessment conducted within the last 18 months. In 2019, the proud winner was Tioman Dive Centre: a PADI dive centre which has been a Green Fins member since 2009 and had managed to hold onto the title again in 2020.

As the 2020 Green Fins Award winners, Bubbles Dive Centre, Flora Bay Divers and Tioman Dive Centre are recognised as the world’s most sustainable dive or snorkel operator, as verified by the globally-recognised Green Fins environmental assessment. Their steps to improve sustainability practices, which have resulted in this recognition as the most environmentally friendly Green Fins dive centres in the world, have included:

  • Switching to eco-friendly products and improving waste management practices: Kelvin Lim, Flora Bay Divers, said: “We switched from normal detergents to eco-friendly detergents, we are encouraging divers to bring their own water bottles to reduce plastic and came up with a general waste bin and a bin for plastic bottles in front of our dive centre. This helps tourists and locals to place thrash that’s been found on the beach easily and conveniently since there are no proper bins along the beach.”
  • Training staff in why environmental practices are important: Peisee Hwang, Bubbles Dive Centre, said: “Green Fins has helped my crew understand more about the importance of looking after the environment. Less educated members of staff would throw cigarette butts in the sea without thinking but they are now keeping their trash to dispose in the bin when they are back.”
  • Upgrading boat engines: Rosie Cotton, Tioman Dive Centre, said: “At the beginning of 2020, we upgraded our last remaining boat engine and now we run 100% with 4-stroke models. The benefits are not only to the environment but also a huge reduction in petrol usage. It’s a Win Win situation!”

Alvin Chelliah, Green Fins Assessor Trainer from Reef Check Malaysia, said: ”Most dive centre managers and owners that I have come across in Malaysia care and want to do what they can to help protect coral reefs. I think Green Fins has been the right tool to guide them towards practical actions they can take. Over the years, we have seen these dive centres put in a lot of effort and work hard at following the guidelines and they have improved steadily as a result. We hope others will follow their example.”

Peisee Hwang, Bubbles Dive Centre, said: “We are thrilled to know that we have won and we are glad that our effort is being recognised. We hope that more operators aspire to join us in pledging for the environment.”

Kelvin Lim, Flora Bay Divers, said: “We are proud to be acknowledged for our efforts to inspire sustainable diving. Our focus remains on cultivating informed and conscious divers with good diving skills and habits..”

Rosie Cotton, Tioman Dive Centre, said: “Receiving the news that we have made the top spot of Green Fins members is a fantastic feeling. Thank you so much to the Green Fins team for your ongoing support! This year has obviously been slightly different to previous years. I hope that something we can all take away from this year is that changes in our daily habits can create shockwaves of positive change around the world in a relatively short period of time. From TDC, we hope you are all safe and well at this time and are able to find some positives despite these difficult circumstances.”

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’re thrilled to recognise Bubbles Dive Centre, Flora Bay Divers and Tioman Dive Centre as joint winners of the 2020 Green Fins Award. Competition between the Top 10 is always tight but the fact that there are three winners this year, when usually one centre takes the title, shows how much sustainability is being put at the forefront of the agenda across the dive industry. So, we’d like to say a big well done to Bubbles Dive Centre, Flora Bay Divers and Tioman Dive Centre. This win is testament to their hard work and ongoing sustainability efforts and they should be very proud. It’s an incredibly tight race to be named the best of the best!”

The Green Fins Top 10 list is comprised of the world’s most sustainable dive operators, as determined by the Green Fins assessment process. In 2020 they are:

1. Tioman Dive Centre, Flora Bay Divers and Bubbles Dive Centre (all in Malaysia)

4. Ceningan Divers (Indonesia)

5. Scuba Junkie Mabul (Malaysia)

6. Sea Voice Divers (Malaysia)

7. Evolution (Philippines)

8. Orca Nation Rawa (Malaysia)

9. Equation (Philippines)

10. The Barat Perhentian Beach Resort (Malaysia)

In Malaysia, Green Fins is run by Reef Check Malaysia in partnership with the Department of Marine Parks Malaysia (DMPM) on the Peninsula and Sabah Parks in Sabah. Membership is not yet available in Sarawak.

For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org and www.greenfins.net.

If you’re interested in supporting The Reef-World Foundation in its work to protect coral reefs around the world through the Green Fins initiative, consider donating now. To keep up with our latest news and developments, please follow Reef-World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up to Green Fins can find the membership application form at: https://www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.

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For more information about sustainable marine tourism, supporting images or an interview with a spokesperson from The Reef-World Foundation or one of the 2020 Green Fins Award winners, please contact: [email protected]

About Reef-World

The Reef-World Foundation is a registered UK charity which delivers practical solutions for marine conservation around the world. The charity promotes the wise use of natural resources – particularly coral reefs and related ecosystems – for the benefit of local communities, visitors and future generations. It is dedicated to supporting, inspiring and empowering governments, businesses, communities and individuals around the world to act in conserving and sustainably developing coastal resources.

Reef-World leads the global implementation of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative, which focuses on driving environmentally friendly scuba diving and snorkelling practices across the industry globally. As such, the charity provides low cost and practical solutions to local and industry-wide environmental challenges associated with the marine tourism industry. It provides education and capacity building assistance to empower environmental champions (within the diving industry, local communities, authorities and governments) to implement proven coastal resource management approaches.

Please visit www.reef-world.org to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Green Fins

Green Fins is a proven conservation management approach – spearheaded by The Reef-World Foundation in partnership with the UN Environment Programme – which leads to a measurable reduction in the negative environmental impacts associated with the marine tourism industry. The initiative aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines that promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry. It provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance.

Green Fins encourages and empowers members of the diving industry to act to reduce the pressures on coral reefs by offering dive and snorkel companies practical, low-cost alternatives to harmful practices – such as anchoring, fish feeding and chemical pollution – as well as providing strategic training, support and resources. By reducing the local direct and indirect pressures tourism puts on coral reefs, it helps make corals healthier and more resilient to other stresses such as the effects of climate change. Look for the Green Fins logo when booking your next dive trip. The Green Fins Award takes place each year to recognise the most environmentally friendly Green Fins members.

Please visit https://www.greenfins.net/ to learn more or follow the initiative on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Reef Check Malaysia

Reef Check Malaysia is working towards sustainable management of coral reefs in Malaysia. We bring together stakeholders to collaborate on coral reef monitoring, management, research and conservation, and advocacy.

About Bubbles Dive Centre

Bubbles focuses on conservation, safety, and quality dive education. We rank as a world top 10 Green Fins member, spreading our love of marine world to all our divers and student divers alike. We pledge to share this beautiful underwater wonder to everyone in its original state. For more information please visit http://www.bubblesdc.com/

About Flora Bay Divers

A locally owned and managed professional diving resort located on beautiful Teluk Dalam beach, Pulau Perhentian Besar (big island). Flora Bay Divers is the one only PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort on the island. As a 5 Star PADI diving facility, we meet the highest PADI standards and requirements in terms of diving education, equipment, professionalism and customer service. Our dive center is fully equipped with the very latest training tools and equipment to ensure your safety, comfort and enjoyment when you dive with us. Our dive resort that not only meets all the PADI 5 Star requirements but also qualifies to offer PADI Instructor level education. Being an active PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort and having a full time PADI Course Director on staff proves that we are committed to the highest standards and safe diving practices. For more information please visit http://www.florabaydivers.com

About Tioman Dive Centre

Tioman Dive Centre (TDC) offers a complete range of courses, all the way from Discover SCUBA Dives for beginners to the PADI DiveMaster Course which is your first professional rating within PADI. TDC is passionately committed to providing dive instruction to the highest standards. This is reflected in the number of students per instructor – we try to limit it to 4-5 students to each instructor. It is also reflected in the duration of our courses. We never attempt to squeeze a course into a shorter length of time than suggested and as such, we do not cut corners and give you, the student, the time necessary to fully master all theory and skills. It is also reflected in our prices, as we believe that good training needs good instructors and sufficient time.

Guests will also find an emphasis on environmental awareness in TDC’s courses, along with the necessary dive skills, as the company believes those entering the water should respect the environment they are learning to experience. In this way we can ensure that the marine environment is preserved not only for our enjoyment but for future generations. For more information please visit https://www.tioman-dive-centre.com.