Environmental Standards For Egypt Diving And Snorkelling Now Nationwide
The Reef-World Foundation and Egypt's Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS) have announced that the Green Fins initiative – part of the UN Environment Programme to provide internationally recognised environmental standards for diving and snorkelling – will be expanded nationwide following a successful pilot programme in the South Sinai Governorate.
The Red Sea Governorate, which stretches along the length of mainland Egypt's Red Sea coastline and which includes the popular resorts of Hurghada, Marsa Alam, El Gouna and Sahl Hasheesh, will begin to implement the Green Fins standards in dive centres following the training of six new Green Fins Assessors during February 2020.
With the recent lifting of UK flight restrictions to Sharm El Sheikh expected to result in an increase in dive tourism, the Reef-World Foundation is asking divers to consider booking with a Green Fins certified operator where possible. The CDWS is asking dive centres to sign up for the programme to help improve their commitment to sustainable tourism and ensure that they are implementing environmental best practice.
'We’re proud to be helping protect Red Sea coral reefs by expanding Green Fins nationwide across Egypt, said Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation. 'Through their one-to-one consultations, the Green Fins national team in Egypt will play a vital role in helping the country’s marine tourism industry improve its sustainability; ultimately, protecting the Red Sea’s precious coral reefs for future generations.'
'To date, nine Egyptian dive and snorkel operators have already joined the global network of nearly 600 trained and assessed Green Fins members, with significant interest from other operators,' said Hesham Gabr, Chair of the Chamber of Diving & Watersports. 'In the coming year, we aim to certify 30 marine tourism operators, train 150 dive guides and raise awareness of sustainability best practice among 30,000 tourists. Green Fins is a critical part of our ambitious action plan to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Egypt and we are excited to see the continued results.'
'This is the kind of partnership I value and search for,' said Amr El Ezabi, Director of the Egyptian State Tourist Office for the UK and Ireland. 'It fulfils all the requirements of sustainability. We are building a community together. Marketing the Red Sea on this basis is solid and sustainable and we are very happy about the implementation of Green Fins in Egypt.'
Egypt is the first country in the Middle East region and the eleventh worldwide to officially adopt the Green Fins standards.
For more information about Reef World and Green Fins, visit www.reef-world.org, and www.greenfins.net. Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up to Green Fins can find the membership application form at www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.