The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of Green Fins – along with the Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS) and the SDGs Promotion Secretariat (Onna Village Office in Okinawa) are pleased to announce Arabic and Japanese-speaking dive and snorkel operators can now benefit from environmental resources in their first language. The newly translated Green Fins posters and guidelines are designed to help marine tourism operators understand their impact on the environment and empower them to adopt more sustainable practices.
Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris, as well as the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures.
Dive and snorkel operators being able to understand the issues faced, and educate others, is hugely important to the local environment and community. Having access to readily available materials in their first language will help Arabic and Japanese speakers learn how to protect coral reefs by adopting sustainable tourism behaviours and empower them to teach best practice to their guests whatever their level of English.
Chloë Harvey, Director at Reef-World, said “As the international coordinator in partnership with the UN Environment Programme, we are constantly striving to help individuals around the world learn about the simple actions they can take to protect coral reefs. Having materials now available in Arabic and Japanese is a huge step, so even more people can become aware of best dive and snorkel practices and help our oceans thrive.”
Suika Tsumita, SDGs Promotion Secretariat, Onna Village Office: “Japan is a country surrounded by the sea and benefits from fishing and tourism. Various efforts are being made to make this abundant resource sustainable in the future, and I hope that Green Fins will spread as one of them. The release of this Japanese version would be the first step. Currently, we are starting to introduce Green Fins in Japan in Onna Village, Okinawa Prefecture but we hope that it will be useful for raising awareness and taking actions to protect corals and the sea in other areas as well.”
A representative from CDWS said: “The Egyptian Red Sea is blessed with a pristine underwater world with crystal clear visibility, warm waters and a thriving aquatic ecosystem. The CDWS aims to protect and preserve the unique marine life and dedicates a lot of effort to spread awareness and education in the sector. It has been a year since we launched Green Fins Egypt. We are thrilled that these colourful, informative and fun awareness materials are now available in Arabic. There is a need for educational material in our language and those offered by Green Fins cover all aspects of the dive and snorkeling industry and their environmental challenges. We hope they will be used by the dive operators as a means to raise awareness.”
Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative which aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines to 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 was launched in Egypt in 2019 and is available to dive and snorkel operators nationwide. The programme’s intended launch in Japan has been postponed from June 2020 due to the pandemic and will be officially launched in the country when travel restrictions allow.
Green Fins members are evaluated annually based on a 15-point code of conduct, which measures the company’s impact on coral reefs: of a possible score of 330, the lower the score, the lower its impact. The assessment then enables Green Fins assessors to offer practical alternatives to the most pressing threats posed by that business.