During March this year, Reef-World was part of an introductory workshop which aimed to develop an appropriate roadmap for applying the Green Fins approach alongside existing tourism management approaches to reduce negative impacts on coral reefs in Palau. As anticipated on the workshop and to prove its success, Palau now has a fully trained national team of assessors and coordinators. A 6-day Green Fins Assessor Training Programme was conducted by The Reef-World Foundation between the 28th of August and the 2nd of September 2017.
Thanks to the extraordinary help of the national implementing partners Koror State, Bureau of Tourism and Palau Conservation Society, eight assessors were trained and are qualified to conduct Green Fins activities in Palau; and five coordinators were trained to help conduct awareness raising activities. The team will split their resources between the diving and, the rapidly growing snorkelling industry. The new assessors include Koror State Rangers, Conservation Officers and Compliance Officers of the Bureau of Tourism; who now have the tools to both enforce and encourage positive changes as Green Fins acts as a bridge to unite these agencies with the diving and snorkelling industry.
After the week of training, two Reef-World staff stayed to keep up the momentum and finalize the training. Palau now has seven active Green Fins members, four SCUBA diving centres and three snorkelling companies. Find more information about the new members on their country page.
Palau has always been exemplary when it comes to environmental protection, making tourism one of their main sources of income. By adopting the Green Fins initiative Palauans are preparing the industry to better face the incoming changes, and are making sure they keep enjoying their natural resources on a sustainable manner.
For the Reef-World team it was an extraordinary experience to work alongside a team of people that have the concept of sustainability and conservation so present within their culture. Congratulations and keep up the good work!