New guidelines for conducting environmentally friendly beach and underwater cleanups
The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – has launched new Green Fins cleanup guidelines to help dive and snorkel operators organise and host environmentally friendly coastal cleanups.
The guidelines guide dive professionals step-by-step through everything they’ll need to consider before, during and after beach and underwater cleanups. The guidance includes: how to choose a suitable location; promoting your event; briefing and educating participants; documentation of the event; best practice for underwater trash collection; tips for promoting your event; and data collection methods and reporting to initiatives that can use this information to shape global policy.
Samantha Craven, Programmes Manager at Reef-World, said: “Trash in our oceans is a serious problem that threatens the marine environment and dependent livelihoods. Around 80% of marine trash comes from land-based sources and, although it is an entirely man-made problem, it is also entirely preventable. As well as refusing single-use items, reducing your waste, reusing items and recycling trash, you can become part of the solution by taking part in, or running, beach and underwater cleanup events and recording your data to influence long-term solutions and decision making.
“We’ve been so impressed to see so many Green Fins members organising cleanups as soon as they were able to resume activities. Every event will make a difference, however big or small! Our new guidelines have been created to help marine tourism operators who are conducting beach and underwater cleanups do so in an environmentally friendly way while providing education on marine debris issues during the event. This guidance – which includes key things to consider before, during and after the cleanup – will help ensure no further damage is caused to marine ecosystems while teams are removing marine debris.”
For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org or www.greenfins.net. 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, images or an interview with a spokesperson from The Reef-World Foundation, please contact: [email protected]
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’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 – 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. Please visit https://www.greenfins.net/ to learn more or follow the initiative on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.