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UNEP launches digital platform to encourage sustainable marine tourism

  • Published
    16th Sep, 2022
Context

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), along with UK-based charity Reef-World Foundation, recently launched the Green Fins Hub, a global digital platform they said would give sustainable marine tourism a ‘major boost’.

About

About Green Fins

  • Green Fins is a proven conservation management approach which leads to a measurable reduction in the negative environmental impacts associated with the marine tourism industry.
  • It is spearheaded by The Reef-World Foundation in partnership with the UN Environment Programme.
  • 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 Hub:

  • The platform will help diving and snorkelling operators worldwide to make simple, cost-efficient changes to their daily practices by utilising tried and tested solutions.
  • It would also help them keep track of their annual improvements and communicate with their communities and customers.
  • Throughout every year of membership, operators will receive environmental scores based on a detailed online self-evaluation and progress made on their action plans.
  • The Green Fins Hub is intended to catalyse a seismic shift towards sustainability in the marine tourism sector, by hosting two types of Green Fins membership:
    • Digital membership that will be available to dive, snorkel and liveaboard operations globally. Throughout every year of membership, operators will receive environmental scores based on a detailed online self-evaluation and progress made on their action plans.

    • Green Fins Certified Members will continue to be assessed annually and trained in person at their operation. The assessment process will continue to be based on set criteria using a scoring system (0-330 point system, with a low score implying low impact of a business on coral reefs). As part of the Green Fins Hub, there will now be a minimum threshold (>200 of a maximum environmental impact score) for becoming a Green Fins Certified Member and a ranking of bronze, silver or gold certified members according to performance.

Additional features on the Hub include:

  • The Green Fins Community Forum for operators around the world to raise industry needs, discuss environmental issues and share lessons and ideas with like-minded industry leaders, NGOs and governments.
  • The Green Fins Solutions Library gives access to over 100 proven environmental solutions to common daily operational challenges, tried and tested by the Green Fins network for over two decades.
  • The Action Plan Tracker: Members will receive an annual sustainability action plan with set goals. An advanced user interface now allows them to track their progress over time.

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