23 Nov 2018 Press release Oceans & seas

A global venture to make Green Fins standards on sustainable diving the social norm

21 November 2018: PADI, the world’s largest diving association has joined forces with the Reef World Foundation, supported by UN Environment, to promote sustainable diving practices for the protection of the marine environment. This partnership will raise awareness and deliver tools to implement the Green Fins standard of best practice, helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of coral reefs, recreational scuba diving and local livelihoods.

Green Fins is the only internationally recognized environmental standard for dive and snorkel operators, established through a partnership between UN Environment and The Reef World Foundation. Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centres, strengthening regulations and environmental education for dive staff, divers and government.

As the largest diver training organization in the world, PADI has the reach and influence to mobilise divers to be citizen activists. With 6,500 dive centers and resorts, 135,000 professionals divers and more than 25 million recreational divers around the world, the PADI network has tremendous potential to make an impact on critical environmental issues.

Unquestionably, there are serious and formidable issues threating the world’s coral reefs, said Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide.That said, I’m a firm believer in engagement, problem identification and mitigation. The PADI organization is committed to acting as a force for good. By empowering divers and connecting them to the PADI family and global issues relevant to our industry, we can help people be a powerful catalyst for change.”

With PADI’s support and more dive operators worldwide adhering to the best practices outlined by Green Fins, the dive industry can play a significant role in creating a more sustainable future.

Reef-World is working in partnership with UN Environment on the front lines alongside business, government and the public to be the driving force for making sustainable diving and snorkelling the social norm globally, said JJ Harvey of the Reef World Foundation. “Our ultimate goal is to reduce local threats to coral reefs, allowing them to be more resilient to global impacts such as climate change. We’re thrilled to work with PADI, alongside other dive industry leaders, who can engage divers and diving businesses worldwide, helping us to scale solutions with the urgency that is required.”

Many locations are experiencing increasing numbers of tourists who are attracted by vibrant coral reefs. Ensuring that every diver and dive operator in all corners of the globe are equipped with appropriate training and knowledge will help relieve pressure on the marine environment.

“Saving coral reefs as a source of livelihoods and as a business asset requires collaboration between industry, civil society and governments,” said Jerker Tamelander, Head of Coral Reef Unit, UN Environment. This partnership is set to raise the sustainability bar of the diving industry and will help establish environmentally friendly diving as the global norm”

NOTES TO EDITORS

About UN Environment

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

About Reef-World:

Reef-World supports governments and communities in sustainable consumption and production of coastal resources and marine life. This is done through the Green Fins initiative, established and implemented in partnership with UN Environment. Green Fins is a free membership programme for participating businesses that provide SCUBA diving or snorkelling activities and pledge to follow a set of best environmental practices. Within the 550+ businesses that have implemented Green Fins across 9 countries, consistent reduction in threats to the marine environment has been measured, reflecting continued improvements in environmental practice.

About PADI:

PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the world’s largest recreational diver training organization with nearly 6,500 dive centers and resorts and more than 135,000 professional members worldwide. Since 1966, PADI has remained dedicated to introducing new divers to the thrill of scuba diving and enhancing the skills of experienced divers. Committed to ocean conservation, with every diver certification issued PADI also creates a growing number of ocean ambassadors to help defend and preserve the marine environment for generations to come.

For more information, contact:

Janna Hamilton, UN Environment Coral Reef Unit,[email protected]