November 2017 – The Reef-World Foundation dives into the waters of DEMA 2017

Naomi Klein once said, “To change everything, we need everyone”. This is the approach The Reef-World Foundation team is taking in empowering the diving and snorkelling industry to lead the sustainability movement. We need dive industry businesses, more than ever, alongside communities, governments, inter-governmental bodies and non-government organizations to collaborate, to #SaveOurReefs. DEMA 2017 (Diving Equipment and Marketing Association) took place in the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando Florida, from the 1st to the 4th of November. Reef-World’s representative, Klementina Dukoska, took the opportunity to discuss with dive, and related businesses, to create joint ocean solutions, through utilising what is the only recognised standard for sustainable diving and snorkelling, Green Fins.

There is a high potential for the dive industry to embrace the tools and resources developed through Green Fins and utilise the experience and knowledge of the International Coordinator of the Green Fins approach, The Reef-World Foundation. Discussions are being held with diver training agencies about promoting environmental messages throughout diver training, by co-creating and validating environmentally centred courses and programmes.  Dive equipment manufacturers are interested in widening their conservation impact by working more closely alongside Green Fins, furthermore, discussions were initiated with liveaboards, booking agents, hotels, resorts and other relevant businesses.

At DEMA 2017, Reef-World was also part of a work group to create the first ISO on sustainable diving and snorkelling and is hoping it will come into effect in 2018. Reef-World, with experience implementing sustainable diving and snorkelling standards across 9 countries in some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, provided expert feedback, and is intending to continue the collaboration with the ISO Working Group. Green Fins is a tool for the diving industry, not only to comply to sustainable diving and snorkelling standards but also to help the industry adapt to changes such as the introduction of new ISO standards. All this will help to make coral reefs and related ecosystems more resilient, upon which ultimately the industry and local communities depend.