Connect with us
background

News

Egypt implements environmental standards to protect its coral reefs

Published

on

The Reef-World Foundation and Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS) have announced that Egypt is adopting Green Fins environmental standards to protect its coral reefs.

Through the implementation of the Green Fins initiative nationally (South Sinai Governorate from September and Red Sea Governorate from March), the Egyptian marine tourism industry is playing its part in protecting coral reefs from the negative impacts associated with diving and snorkelling.

The country has become the first in its region and the 11th worldwide to officially adopt Green Fins. Green Fins is one element of CDWS’ ambitious action plan to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Egypt.

The initiative will be piloted in South Sinai Governorate and expanded to be available to all dive and snorkel operators nationwide by March 2020. Following a week of training by Reef-World (22-28 September 2019), Egypt now has a team of four Green Fins Assessors in South Sinai Governorate.

The Green Fins Assessor team is comprised of CDWS representatives who are now certified to recruit, train and conduct assessments of new Green Fins members in the country. As such, dive operators in South Sinai Governorate are now able to register their interest in becoming a Green Fins member by contacting the Green Fins Team at CDWS by emailing egypt@greenfins.net.

The new assessors are now fully certified to provide training about the ecology and threats to coral reefs, simple and local everyday solutions to these threats and Green Fins’ environmental standards to dive and snorkel operators. The second phase of national introduction will see 4-5 more assessors trained in the Red Sea Governorate in March 2019 and CDWS is calling for interested operators in the region to sign up in advance.

Image: The Reef-World Foundation.

Egypt is a popular holiday destination with 11.3 million tourists visiting in 2018; up from 8.3 million in 2017. Of these, there are approximately 500 businesses providing diving and snorkelling activities in the Red Sea and an estimated three million divers and snorkellers visiting the region each year. The CDWS is rallying dive centres to join the Green Fins initiative to help improve their sustainability and prove they are following environmental best practice as a way of attracting eco-minded tourists.

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 plastic debris as well the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures.

The Green Fins initiative helps identify and mitigate these risks by providing environmental consultation and support, based on robust individual assessments, to dive and snorkel operators. Reef-World hopes to significantly reduce negative environmental impacts on coral reefs in the Egypt by reaching 30 marine tourism operators, training 150 dive guides and raising awareness of sustainability best practice among 30,000 tourists during Green Fins’ first year of implementation.

To date, four Egyptian dive and snorkel operators have already joined the global network of nearly 600 trained and assessed Green Fins members. These are: Reef Oasis Dive Club, Water Land 3 Diving Centre, Diving and Discovery and Camel Dive Club and Resort. There has also been significant interest from other operators who have signed the membership form and are looking forward to their training and assessment. The CDWS aims to certify 30 dive centres in the coming year.

Hany George and Chloe Harvey prepare for a dive.

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’re proud to be helping protect Red Sea coral reefs by bringing Green Fins to Egypt; the first country in the Middle East and the 11th country worldwide to adopt the initiative. As one of the original global diving destinations, the diving community in Egypt has shaped the way we dive and travel today, so I’m really pleased to be working with them to lead the way in sustainability within our industry. In fact, I learned to dive here aged 12 which has dramatically influenced my life dramatically and the way I have developed the Green Fins programme as a whole.”

She continued: “Through Green Fins, dive and snorkel operators in the region can improve their environmental best practices and reduce their negative impact on coral reefs; helping to conserve these vital ecosystems for many generations to come. The programme is initially launching in South Sinai Governorate with the Red Sea Governorate to follow in March 2020 so we urge dive operators in both regions to get in touch if they are interested in proving they follow environmental best practice by achieving a Green Fins certification.”

Hesham Gabr, Chair of the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said: “Fortunately, the Red Sea is blessed to have a pristine underwater world with crystal clear visibility, warm waters and a thriving aquatic ecosystem. From large, multi-coloured coral reef systems home to several fish species to the presence of the BIG underwater creatures, we are lucky to be the custodians of a naturally rich and beautiful environment. Since the start of the 2019 summer alone, we have already had multiple sightings of whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays, eagle rays, hammerheads, oceanic reef sharks and much, much more! It is so important that we protect and preserve the Red Sea’s exquisite marine life for future generations. As such, we are excited to promote environmental best practice to our members and help them reduce negative impacts on life under the sea, through the implementation of the Green Fins initiative.”

Ahmed el Wassief, Chair of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, said: “Sustainability is a crucial element of the Egypt Tourism Reform Program that Egypt is undertaking to improve the standards and the quality of both the touristic infrastructure and its human element. The effort will surely put Egyptian tourism at the forefront of Eastern Mediterranean destinations. And has so far resulted in Egypt being the fourth highest improvement in tourism competitiveness.”

The launch of Green Fins Egypt was made possible thanks to financing support from the United Nations Development Programme through its project – “Mainstreaming the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into the tourism development and operations in threatened ecosystems in Egypt.”

For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org, www.greenfins.net or www.cdws.travel. Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up to Green Fins can find the membership application form at: www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.

News

Tourism Fiji celebrates Open for Happiness Campaign (Watch Trailer)

Published

on

As international borders reopen to the world this week, Tourism Fiji launched the first video piece in it’s Open for Happiness campaign. The team celebrated this at an event at Wyndham Resort Denarau Island, where they unveiled some of the content to crew who worked on the production as well as tourism stakeholders.

Tourism Fiji is delighted to partner with award-winning actress, comedian and producer, Rebel Wilson, the new Ambassador of our global reopening campaign.

Ms. Wilson has fond memories of visiting Fiji as a child and returned to share her love of a destination that offers so much to visitors and is largely vaccinated.

She was joined by a talented pool of Fijian cast and crew to shoot Tourism Fiji’s Open for Happiness campaign in the Mamanuca Islands, where she also sampled a range of experiences.

“Rebel is a talented actress and demonstrates a unique ability to bring her own style of heartfelt humour to the ad that Tourism Fiji is creating,” said Brent Hill, CEO of Tourism Fiji.

“We’re delighted to have her as an ambassador who resonates with Fiji and our key tourist markets; Australia, North America, New Zealand and Europe.”

Rebel hiked, did yoga, stand up paddleboarding, scenic helicopter tour, spa treatment, cocktails and visited a popular sandbar.  She was seen stepping out in some local designer wear from Samson Lee and Zuber and enjoyed the hospitality of Vomo Island Fiji.

Her destination highlights of Fiji were shared with her fanbase, including 10.3 million followers on social media platform Instagram, and helped amplify Fiji’s allure as a holiday destination that has now safely reopened to international travellers on December 1st.

Filmed in Fiji over the course of last month, the campaign is the result of the collaborative work of several local partners including activity providers, talented singers, entertainers, videographers, local actors, and extras on set.

“This campaign would not have been possible without the support of our industry stakeholders, and we’re pleased to showcase a global star such as Rebel and the talent of local cast and crew,” said Brent Hill, CEO of Tourism Fiji.

Rebel also enjoyed a sunset cruise featuring a live performance by talented local artist, Apakuki “Kuki” Nalawa and shared snippets across her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels.

“With all that’s happened over the last two years, tourism has been badly affected and the entertainment industry has been hit hard by this as well, – the live performance was an eye-opener, a breath of fresh air and gave us all hope that things will get better,” Mr Nalawa said.

“It’s so encouraging to witness a Hollywood actress and her media team enjoying not only the beauty that our country has to offer but also recognising the level of talent we have.”

Tourism Fiji’s Open for Happiness campaign with Rebel will be used into 2022. Further video clips will launch over the coming weeks.

Continue Reading

News

Announcing the Winners of the DPG/Wetpixel Masters Underwater Imaging Competition 2021

Published

on

DivePhotoGuide (DPG) and Wetpixel are proud to announce the winning images and videos in the 2021 edition of the DPG/Wetpixel Masters Underwater Imaging Competition. Once again, hundreds of photographers and filmmakers from dozens of countries competed in what has become known as the “World Championship” of international underwater imaging events.

Created by DPG and Wetpixel, two of the largest online resources for underwater shooters, the competition invited submissions to five image categories and a video category, with entries evaluated by a panel of illustrious industry experts and award-winning photographers: Florian Fischer, Imran Ahmad, Jennifer Hayes, Mike Bartick and Stephen Frink.

This year, Martin Broen received the “Best of Show” prize for his 1st place in the Black and White category. The image, a jaw-dropping capture of the pristine stalactites and stalagmites in a Mexican cenote, earned Martin the top cash prize of $1,000. The 1st place winners in the other categories were Julian Hsu (Macro Traditional), Sander van der Heijden (Macro Unrestricted), Enrico Somogyi (Wide Angle Traditional), Tom Shlesinger (Wide Angle Unrestricted) and Alex del Olmo (Video); each of them received a cash prize of $250.

In a joint statement, DPG Editor-in-Chief Joseph Tepper and Wetpixel Publisher Adam Hanlon said: “Once again, the DPG/Wetpixel Masters competition has demonstrated the incredible talent that exists in our community of underwater shooters. As many of us continue to face lockdowns and travel restrictions, these photos and films remind us of the riches under the sea and why we must maintain our collective passion to protect the oceans we love.”

The organizers are pleased to announce that 15 percent of entry proceeds will once again be donated to marine conservation efforts.

You can see the full results here.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Egypt | Safaga, Brothers & Elphinstone | 27 January – 04 February 2022 | Emperor Elite

Jump on board this famous Red Sea liveaboard and enjoy diving the famous wrecks of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer.  Emperor Elite offers a contemporary living space combined with the best itineraries available in the Red Sea.

Price NOW from just £975 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from London Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular