Through a collaboration between Sabah Parks and NGO Reef Check Malaysia, Reef-World conducted a 5-day Assessor Training workshop to train up a new team of Sabah-based assessors and coordinators to roll out Green Fins to diving industries in Semporna and Kota Kinabalu (KK). This event was supported jointly by Rufford and Sabah Parks and successfully trained 5 Green Fins Assessors and one Green Fins Coordinator. A solid action plan was developed by the new team of Assessors and the Sabah Park Management, and next steps will focus resources on Semporna; to provide membership and evaluate environmental performance of dive centres in line with the Green Fins approach. It is expected that once the programme is well established in Semporna, their efforts may spread to other diving destinations in Sabah.
The new team is comprised of the three new Sabah Parks Dive Marshals from Sipadan Marine Park, and two Reef Check Malaysia staff as assessors, and the Sipadan and Tun Sakaran Park Manager as a Green Fins coordinator. They showed incredible passion for coral reef protection and all agreed that there was a need to provide more education and guidance for sustainable tourism practices across Sabah on top of the enforcement work already being carried out by the Marshals.
Two members in KK were recruited and assessed during the training programme and a solid action plan is in place to reach out to more dive centres in the city. Three existing members in Mabul and Mataking who individually facilitated their first Green Fins assessments now have access to an active local management team. Armed with awareness raising presentations and a suite of new educational materials to use to promote best practices, the new Green Fins Sabah team is set to support the thriving diving industry in Sabah to achieve sustainability.
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.