Reef-World’s campaign is helping dive guides in need receive Green Fins environmental certification
The Reef-World Foundation – international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – is calling for dive guides to submit their application for the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship.
As a result of the Scholarship campaign, dive guides working around the world – including Brazil, the Philippines, Egypt, Colombia, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey – have received their certificate proving their status as a Green Fins certified dive guide. Yet, thanks to funding from Reef-World’s partner Paralenz, 149 more scuba diving guides will be able to receive their Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course environmental certification.
Dive guides who meet the criteria (outlined below) can apply for the scholarship at any time through the Green Fins website. To be eligible for the scholarship, guides must: have completed and passed all modules of the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course; be able to demonstrate they or their employer are not financially able to purchase the certificate; and be a national of a country which receives official development assistance from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).*
The Scholarship was created in response to feedback from dive guides who had passed the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course and were keen to download and display their personalised electronic certificate but were not financially able to cover the associated cost (£19 / $25 USD). The personalised electronic certificate can be displayed to entice eco-minded guests by informing them the guide has received this vital environmental certification and is aware of how to reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with diving.
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 run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris as well as the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures. The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course, created with the support of Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS) and running on their innovative EVO e-learning platform, teaches dive professionals how to prevent diving-related damage to coral reefs by following the highest environmental standards and better managing their guests to prevent damage to the reef.
Sam Craven, Programmes Manager at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’re proud to be offering dive guides around the world the opportunity to become Green Fins certified; no matter their background. Both the e-Course and the Scholarship have been a great success so far and we’re delighted to see so many dive professionals demonstrating their commitment to sustainable tourism by taking the course. We urge dive guides who haven’t yet taken the course to consider taking this step and welcome Scholarship applications from anyone who meets the criteria. Together, we can protect coral reefs through sustainable diving and we’d love as many dive guides as possible to join us.”
Márcio Carvalho, Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course scholar (Salve Maracaípe, Brazil), said: “I can’t thank you enough for helping me so much during my Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course and for the scholarship and certificate. Be sure the knowledge acquired on the course will be actively used in Brazil by me and the Salve Maracaípe environmental movement. The Green Fins guidelines will be great news for the local environment and local business … You guys can count on me in Brazil, let’s make environmentally friendly diving a norm!”
Gaurav Sharma, Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course scholar (India), said: “I want to express my gratitude for granting me the scholarship. The course was really knowledgeable and informative. Big thank you! Hope to contribute towards betterment of our coral reefs and marine ecosystems in future.”
Kaan Atalay, Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course scholar (Turkey), said: “…this course has proved to me how some very basic behaviours can be effective on our divers and also marine life too … That’s why the Green Fins Code of Conduct matters so much. As these basic habits and behaviours spread around the world, it would be easier to conserve corals, marine life and our oceans.”
Dive guides who want to be considered for scholarship can visit https://www.greenfins.net/green-fins-dive-guide-scholarship-applications to apply. To donate to the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship Fund, please visit https://www.greenfins.net/appeal/sponsor-a-dive-guide.
Supporters who are interested in helping additional dive guides receive their certifications can also donate to Sponsor a Dive Guide.