Reef-World reveals developments that will create lasting and systemic change for the marine environment
The Reef-World Foundation – international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – today released its 2021-2022 annual report highlighting its major developments to spur inclusive growth of the Green Fins initiative for coral reef protection globally. The report shows the resilience of the organisation amid unprecedented times.
“Not only did they manage to navigate the disruption and stresses of pandemic life from different parts of the world, but they also used this time to reflect, resourcefully adapt, and prepare for the eventual resumption of international travel and dive tourism. As the world gradually reopened over the last year, the team were more than ready to hit the ground running across the various project countries, with even more drive and determination,” said Viv Stein-Rostaing, Chair of The Reef-World Foundation.
One of the year’s main highlights is the rebranding of Green Fins, a brand which has not changed since it was created in 2004. The rebrand comes as the urgency of Green Fins’ work ramps up due to climate change impacts. It represents the initiative’s global expansion, the evolution of its network and the inclusivity of all its stakeholders. Another major milestone includes the release of the new Green Fins Diver e-Course, further increasing the accessibility of marine environmental knowledge and tips on reducing environmental impact whilst diving.
Green Fins activities at popular diving destinations started to buzz again, and Reef-World supported the national governments of Costa Rica and Japan to launch Green Fins and trained new Green Fins assessors in the Dominican Republic and the Philippines. Other major developments such as the Green Fins Hub, a new type of digital membership and Green Fins membership structure updates are now launched in September 2022, months after the annual report operational year.
Green Fins collection of educational materials, which covers guidance on tackling every environmental challenge facing the diving industry has also been bolstered. Four new guidelines for environmental best practices, two new language translations (Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia) and two posters were updated to expand the reach of its conservation message. The revamped Green Fins website, which loads faster and is more mobile-friendly, saw a 16% increase in web traffic, and communications efforts to broaden the charity’s audience resulted in a 200% increase in web traffic on Reef-World’s website.
With the growth in impact and scale, and as an exemplary marine conservation organisation, Reef-World’s Directors have embarked on the Great Organisational Shakeup, integrating a culture of care alongside an ambitious recruitment plan to meet a new strategy to ensure the long-term success of the team personally and professionally. To support staff in navigating the challenges of working remotely, the charity engaged a coach to provide regular one-to-one coaching sessions, and the results have been invaluable. In May 2022, Reef-World was ranked number six for Escape the City: Top purpose-led companies to ‘escape’ to in 2022, as one of the most progressive organisations to work for amongst 13,000 company nominations.
“The Reef-World team dreams big, and we’ve proven in the past that when we do so, big things happen. We’re super excited about the coming year. To lead and innovate for lasting change, to continue to deliver on the needs of local communities and further secure the long-term sustainability of the marine resources they rely on.” said Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation.
Reef-World would also like to thank its grant funders: UN Environment Programme, IDB Lab and TUI Care Foundation; symbiotic partners whose vital support has resulted in significant tangible benefits for the ocean: PADI; Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS); The Matthew Good Foundation; Explorer Ventures; 1% for the Planet; ZuBlu; Snorkel Venture, GSTC; Dive O’Clock; WildSocks, Charitable Travel and Seven Dragons.