Reef-World Initiative Shortlisted For 2020 Con X Tech Prize
The Reef-World Foundation - the international coordinator of Green Fins in partnership with the UN Environment Programme – has announced that is has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2020 Conservation X Tech Prize.
The Con X Tech Prize is open to all and provides seed funding for conservation initiatives around the world. The current round attracted 167 submissions from around the world, including Uganda, Malaysia, Cameroon, the Philippines and Brazil, and Reef-World has been named as one of the 20 finalists. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced by Conservation X Labs after finalists complete a 12-week prototyping period.
Reef-World’s submission to the Tech Prize is the development of The Green Fins Global Hub, a digital solution to help dive professionals protect fragile coral reefs. The online support system is aimed at motivating marine tourism operators to improve their everyday environmental practices in order to meet increasing consumer demand for sustainable tourism.
With more than 20 years of experience in conservation and environmental education, the new Green Fins Global Hub would allow Reef-World to expand its already successful Green Fins initiative online, potentially reaching up to 30,000 dive and snorkel operators spread across the 100 countries in which coral reefs are located. Part of the Green Fins strategy is to provide local solutions to address local problems, and with some 171 million tourists visiting coral reef sites each year, following proven, environmentally sustainable initiatives would undoubtedly have a positive impact on global reef health.
In order to use the Green Fins Hub, the owners, managers and staff of marine tour operators would register online and submit a self-evaluation. In return, they will receive proven solutions for their greatest environmental threats and access to a variety of resources and support forums. Data captured from the self-evaluations and operators' use of the hub will help to assess where strengthened local government policy or regulations might have the greatest impact.
James Greenhalgh, Digital Strategy Manager at The Reef-World Foundation, said: 'We’re proud to have been shortlisted alongside these impressive conservation innovations. There is no other product like the Global Hub on the market and our market research shows strong industry demand for a service providing this type of solution. The Hub will enable operators to train and empower their staff to adopt better environmental behaviours and collaborate with other businesses. We’re excited about the project’s potential to benefit reefs globally.'
Tom Quigley, Community Manager at Conservation X Labs, said: 'The Con X Tech Prize is meant for opportunities just like this - where some funding and support through a prototyping sprint can help a product like Green Fins make a transformative leap in the scale of their impact. We're excited to see what Reef-World builds over the prototyping period.'
Each of the 20 shortlisted teams has received $3,500 to turn their idea into a prototype over 12-weeks. At the end of the prototyping period, one project will be awarded the $20,000 grand prize to support its future development.
For more information on Reef-World and Green Fins, visit www.reef-world.org and www.greenfins.net To see the full list of 20 finalists for the Conservation X Tech Prize, head to www.conservationxlabs.com/cxtp3-announcement.