Green Fins Indonesia is committed to expanding sustainability to marine tourism nationwide

The Coral Triangle Center is celebrating the first Green Fins trainers to complete the “Train the Trainer” programme in Indonesia

The Reef-World Foundation — the international coordinator of UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative — has successfully trained and certified two new Green Fins assessor trainers from the Green Fins Indonesia National Team. They are now qualified to train and certify individuals in-country, building capacity for the initiative’s continued expansion in Indonesia.

With the increasing demand for the Green Fins programme by dive and snorkel operators from popular diving destinations around the country, the Green Fins Indonesia team has undergone the Green Fins “Train the Trainer” (TTT) programme in December 2023. The TTT programme in Indonesia is part of the “Unlocking sustainable marine tourism businesses using Green Fins as a resource for MPA conservation” project, made possible thanks to support from the IUCN under the Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF).

This project will enable resource managers to build the evidence base of Green Fins’ environmental, social and economic returns for reef health as well as local communities, ensure financial sustainability to strengthen the capacity of Green Fins Indonesia and improve the uptake of environmental best practices among the marine tourism industry. The project will bring together expertise from The Reef-World Foundation, UNEP-COBSEA and Coral Triangle Center.

Chloe Harvey, Executive Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We are very happy to have secured this grant! This opportunity will be transformational to the sustainability of the Green Fins initiative in Indonesia and beyond. Alongside our trusted partners, the Coral Triangle Center and COBSEA, we look forward to continuing to promote the wise use of coral reefs and sustainable reef-based tourism practices that protect and conserve coral reefs throughout Indonesia, for the benefit of the local community, visitors and future generations.

Reef-World developed the TTT programme to allow established Green Fins National Teams to take the next step in Green Fins management and country independence. Following the 8-day training, Indonesia now has a team comprised of two certified Green Fins assessor trainers and six Green Fins assessors across different organisations from the country: Coral Triangle Center, BPSPL Denpasar and Bali Blue Harmony.

“The recent Green Fins Train the Trainer programme was a real success. We are delighted to see the new assessor trainers take on this additional level of leadership autonomy in-country, as well as welcome talented and skilled individuals to the network of Green Fins assessors. We look forward to seeing the team provide the Indonesian tourism industry with the support they need to continue to reduce their negative impact on the marine environments we all rely on.”

Emma Levy, Programmes Officer at The Reef-World Foundation and the lead trainer for this training

Green Fins Indonesia was launched in January 2018. The programme was piloted in Bali with the Coral Triangle Center leading all Green Fins activities in the country. The plan is to build stronger, more collaborative relationships with the marine tourism industry and to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Indonesia by guiding operators towards a more sustainable operating model. Training and encouraging the adoption of the Green Fins management approach to reduce their impact on the marine environment.

Marthen Welly, Marine Conservation Adviser at Coral Triangle Center, said: “Demand for Green Fins from operators has increased since the launch and having the country independence to be able to build our local team capacity and to expand to new areas such as Jakarta and West Nusa Tenggara is the right next step for Green Fins Indonesia. We hope this will also encourage the Indonesian central and local government to advocate and adopt Green Fins for the whole country!”

Building on the successful pilot, Green Fins was then expanded to Ambon and Komodo in 2019. Despite the setback from the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has continued to assess Members where possible, and there are now Green Fins certified dive and snorkel operators in other key destinations in Indonesia, such as Ambon and Komodo.

Wira Sanjaya, Bali Portfolio Manager at Coral Triangle Center, said: “I really hope that the Green Fins programme can be adopted by our government for local marine tourism operators nationwide that are providing services in the local MPAs. We have many MPAs in the country and with the Green Fins programme, we can increase the effectiveness of the country’s MPAs management.”

Green Fins provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance. The initiative aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally-friendly guidelines that promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry.

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