Marine Life & Conservation
New Green Fins trainers for Egypt
Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Watersports is celebrating the first Green Fins trainers to complete the “Train the Trainer” programme in Africa and the Middle East Region
The Reef-World Foundation—the international coordinator of UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative—has successfully trained and certified three new Green Fins trainers from the Green Fins Egypt national team. They are now qualified to train new Green Fins assessors in the country, building capacity for the initiative’s continued expansion in the country.
Due to the increasing demand for the Green Fins programme by dive and snorkel operators in Egypt, the Green Fins Egypt team has undergone the Green Fins “Train the Trainer” programme in October 2022. Reef-World developed the “Train the Trainer” programme to assist the national teams in becoming more independent and sustainable. Following the week of training, Egypt now has a national Green Fins team comprised of three fully certified Green Fins trainers and nine Green Fins assessors from the Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS).
Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “The team behind Green Fins in Egypt are such a unique mix of individuals with decades of diving experience and more than 100,000 dives between them. The team is constantly breaking down barriers and thinking really innovatively to work with the industry to overcome some systemic patterns of behaviour. By building their capacity to now train new assessors, they are more sustainable as a national team and can plan ahead to ensure they have the right people in the right places to continue to drive change within the marine tourism industry. I’m really hopeful that as the Green Fins network in Egypt grows, we can engage the right government agencies in further supporting the future sustainability of the Egyptian diving and snorkelling industry.”
Green Fins Egypt was launched in September 2019. The programme was piloted in the South Sinai Governorate with the CDWS leading all Green Fins activities in the country. The plan is to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Egypt by guiding operators towards a more sustainable operating model. Training and encouraging the adoption of the Green Fins management approach to reduce their impact on the marine environment.
Mostafa Hefny, Chairman of the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said: “Green Fins is raising awareness of the diving industry on the importance of sustainability and providing useful solutions to our problems. Egypt is leading the way in sustainable diving in the Middle East and African region.”
Building on the successful pilot, Green Fins was then expanded to be available to all dive and snorkel operators across Egypt in 2020. The team was lucky to complete the roll-out before the pandemic hit and travel restrictions prevented further implementation. Despite the setback, the team has continued to assess Members where possible, and there are now Green Fins certified dive and snorkel operators in all of the key destinations in the Red Sea.
Lina Challita, Environmental Manager at the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said: “As a team, we are happy to become some of the few assessor trainers in the world. We hope to reach as many operators as possible and help with positive change in the industry.”
Green Fins provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance. The initiative aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally-friendly guidelines that promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry.
Find out more here: The Reef-World Foundation
Marine Life & Conservation
The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back!
The last week of July will see the return of the Shark Trust’s citizen science initiative that invites divers and snorkelers, all around the world, to record the sharks and rays that they see between the 22nd and 30th. After the success of the first event, this year is going to be even bigger and better.
Information about the species and numbers of sharks and rays the participants find over the week will be added to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log. This global shark census will, over time, allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes that occur. Sharks are threatened by destructive fishing, climate change and habitat loss. The data collected during the Great Shark Snapshot will help scientists put effective conservation plans in place.
Dive clubs, centres, and liveaboards can sign up to show their support for this event and advertise their planned dives on the Great Shark Snapshot registration page. Divers looking to join an event will be able to use the map to find Great Shark Snapshot dives taking place near them. As well as gathering vital data, the event will provide a chance to celebrate the incredible shark and ray species that live close to you.
Caroline Robertson-Brown, Marketing Coordinator at the Shark Trust said: “It was wonderful to see so many divers take part in our first event last year. What is even better is seeing those dive centres and liveaboards returning to take part again this year, along with many more signing up for the first time.”
With the event still 2 months away, dive centres and liveaboards from over 20 countries have already signed up to take part. From Palau to Costa Rica. From the UK to Australia. Whether you are diving your local dive site, or on the diving trip of a lifetime. You can take part in the Great Shark Snapshot.
It is easy to join in. Just go diving between 22nd and 30th July and record every shark, ray and skate that your dive group sees. If possible, take photos and some video footage too. The Shark Trust really wants to see what species you encounter on your dives. Then make sure that you record your sightings on the Shark Trust Shark Log recordings website or by using the Shark Trust app.
The Great Shark Snapshot is a way for divers to get together, go diving, and do something to help shark conservation. Why not dive in?
Find out more here: www.sharktrust.org/snapshot
Fourth Element now planting a tree for every online order
Global dive brand Fourth Element has announced the launch of their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, a commitment towards offsetting their carbon footprint and supporting environmental conservation through tree planting and mangrove restoration.
As a brand dedicated to sustainability and environmental conservation, Fourth Element has partnered with Ecologi, a leading platform for climate action, to plant a tree for every online order received. By working with Ecologi, Fourth Element ensures that the trees and mangroves planted are part of verified reforestation projects around the world that have a positive impact on local communities and biodiversity.
Trees play a crucial role in the health of our planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and providing oxygen, while also supporting biodiversity. In addition, mangroves, which grow in coastal areas, are essential in protecting our oceans and mitigating climate change. They absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and provide habitat for a wide range of marine life. However, both trees and mangroves are under threat from deforestation and development.
“Plant for the Planet” reflects Fourth Element’s commitment to taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and promoting sustainability in their business practices. By choosing to shop with Fourth Element, customers are also supporting the company’s efforts to protect the environment and promote positive change.
“We believe that it is our duty as a business to take action and make a positive impact on the planet,” said Paul Strike, CEO of Fourth Element. “Through our partnership with Ecologi and our ‘Plant for the Planet’ initiative, we are taking steps to offset our carbon footprint and support reforestation and mangrove restoration projects, which are critical for the health of our oceans and the planet as a whole.”
Fourth Element’s “Plant for the Planet” initiative is part of their ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. The company continues to explore ways to reduce their environmental footprint and promote responsible practices within the dive industry.
For more information about Fourth Element and their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, please visit www.fourthelement.com/plant-for-the-planet.
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