Following a local ordinance, all dive guides must attend the seminar in order to be licensed to guide in the Municipal waters of Moalboal. On 27 December 2013, Green Fins coordinators in Moalboal were invited to participate in the very first dive guide accreditation seminar. A great way of upskilling to become a more responsible dive guide!
Dive guides were orientated to local environmental laws and updated on the latest developments of coastal resource management activities. Following that, a representative from Reef-World, the international coordinator of Green Fins, held a discussion on environmental standards in the diving industry and how to act as a responsible dive guide. During the presentation, they encouraged the dives to always include environmental content in their dive briefings and correct any damaging diver behaviour they see (as well as explaining to the guest after the dive why they made any corrections). Simple actions like this make a real conservation impact and the guides were excited to hear how they could make a real difference.
The event culminated with a workshop where volunteer Green Fins assessors worked with dive guides using the Green Fins ICONS to inject environmental content into their standard pre-dive briefings. Many of the dive guides in Moalboal are extremely passionate about coral reef protection, and they gave some very animated briefings!
The seminar has opened up a communication path between the local government unit and the diving industry, where issues can be shared on a neutral platform and solutions can be formed through mutual input. The seminars are due to run throughout the year, and we look forward to seeing the future successes of this process.
Green Fins awareness raising activities started in the Philippines in 2004 and the initiative was then officially launched in 2010. Green Fins Philippines is implemented by the Coastal and Marine Division under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) with support from NGOs including Batangas Community Divers, The El Nido Foundation and Marine Conservation Philippines.