[Coral-List] NGOs, Corals and Dive Industry

Jerker Tamelander tamelander at un.org
Thu Nov 21 08:47:48 EST 2013

Dear All, 

As has been pointed out - in different ways - the scuba diving industry is 
an important partner in coral reef management. I would like to provide 
some brief information on Green Fins, an initiative by UNEP and Reef World 
to promote environmental stewardship among dive centres. 

A 15 point Code of Conduct has been developed, covering a range of issues 
including best practice in conducting diving and snorkeling, operating 
minimum discharge policies, adherence to relevant regulatory frameworks, 
provision of information to divers, outreach activities etc. Compliance 
with the code of conduct among participating dive centres is monitored 
using a robust assessment system with clear criteria, which also helps 
identify areas for improvement. Significant efforts is placed on awareness 
raising, among dive centres and among their customers, and a range of 
materials and activities have been prepared for this. 

In all activities Green Fins works directly with dive centres. 
Increasingly, effort is being made to also anchor the approach within 
national regulatory frameworks and strengthen public-private 
collaboration, including to encourage and support capacity building among 
governments/regulatory agencies, where possible review and develop 
regulations, and share 'best practice' between locations and countries 
through the international Green Fins network.

Green Fins was originally developed and pilot tested in Thailand, with 
PMBC. It is currently operating in a number of locations in the 
Philippines, and is also being introduced to Viet Nam and the Maldives. 
The approach has been described by Chloe Hunt, JJ Harvey and coauthors in 
a paper in OCM this year: "The Green Fins approach for monitoring and 
promoting environmentally sustainable scuba diving operations in South 
East Asia". http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.03.004. 

Green Fins is presently not a fully fledged certification mechanism. 
However, it has many of the key elements, and considerable potential to be 
developed into a certification mechanism that is independent, credible, 
transparent and broadly applicable. We have started to look into this in 
more detail and would welcome input and collaboration. Please feel free to 
contact me directly on this. 

All best,

Jerker Tamelander
Head, Coral Reef Unit | United Nations Environment Programme | Freshwater 
and Marine Ecosystems Branch | UN, Rajdamnern Nok Av., Bangkok 10200, 
Thailand | Tel: +66 2 288 1099 | Fax: +66 2 280 3829 | tamelander at un.org | 

From:   Ed Blume <eblume2702 at gmail.com>
To:     Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
Cc:     "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Date:   21/11/2013 02:21
Subject:        Re: [Coral-List] NGOs, Corals and Dive Industry
Sent by:        coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Do any dive shops anyplace in the world promote themselves as "green?" The
travel industry has green travel certifications, but I've never seen
anything like that for the dive industry.

Ed Blume
Energy Consulting Network <http://energyconsultingnetwork.com>

On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> 

>    This pertinent question was raised off-list: Can't the diving 
>    acknowledge the problems and speak out
>    on the need for action without someone requiring them to pony up 
>    That was exactly the point I was attempting to make. What we are
> looking for
>    from industry leaders is not funding, but acknowledgement, leadership
> and
>    guidance. In fact, there suddenly seems to be a groundswell of 
> for
>    proactive engagement derived from divers and business leaders who 
>    studied  and understand the issues at hand. At least those who are 
>    predisposed  to reject  scientifically-based findings because they 
>    contradict  some  core beliefs. The way that the diving industry 
>    provides mystifying powers of persuasion to certification agencies 
>    directors). The average diver follows their edicts with something 
> to
>    religious fervor. If divers can simply be encouraged to follow the
> science
>    rather than rhetoric designed specifically to discredit conclusions
> based on
>    methodical   studies,   we   might   be   able  to  make  progress by
>    implementing actions designed to mitigate the blighting impacts
> currently
>    anticipated.
>    Steve
> _______________________________________________
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> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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