The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of Green Fins – and Reef Check Malaysia are pleased to announce that Bahasa Malaysia-speaking dive and snorkel operators can now benefit from environmental resources in their first language.
The Green Fins programme is resuming in the country after a pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 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 resilient to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris and 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, especially when Malaysia is a part of the Coral Triangle as well. Having access to readily available materials in their first language will help Bahasa Malaysia speakers learn how to protect coral reefs by adopting sustainable tourism behaviours and empower local guides to teach best practice to their guests whatever their level of English.
JJ Harvey, Director at Reef-World, said: “We’re thrilled that our educational materials are now available to Bahasa Malaysia speakers. With Green Fins being a global initiative, it’s important for us to communicate and educate as effectively as possible and translating materials into Bahasa Malaysia allows us to reach even more people than before leading to greater impact.”
Samantha Craven, Programmes Manager at Reef-World, said: “The face-to-face environmental training sessions given by the Green Fins national teams to dive shop members in their local language are invaluable to building the environmental knowledge of their staff and crew. That’s why we’re delighted to build on this by providing our suite of tools and resources in Bahasa Malaysia to help even more marine tourism operators improve their sustainable practices.”
Alvin Chelliah, Senior Programme Manager at Reef Check Malaysia, said: “Many local boatmen, compressor boys, snorkel guides, divers and snorkellers aren’t fluent in English. Also, with the restarting of tourism in Malaysia, more local tourists are travelling and exploring destinations close to home. Having the Green Fins materials in Bahasa Malaysia makes it easier to get the message across to a much wider range of people that are visiting the reefs, which could have more impact on raising awareness and taking actions to protect them. We hope this will encourage more dive and snorkel operators to use them with their guests.”
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 first launched in Malaysia back in 2004 and is available to dive and snorkel operators nationwide.
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.
Download the Bahasa Malaysia Green Fins materials here.