“You don’t need to bore people. You need to inspire them, get them excited about the dive. Actually let people know about the ecological reason behind why we ask people not to step on corals. Let them know that it’s alive, and if you break it, that will do away with hundreds of years potentially of growth.” ~ Chloe Harvey
Chloe Harvey is a Marine Biologist and has been a keen scuba diver since the age of 12. Chloe and her partner discovered Green Fins in 2008 while traveling in Thailand, “it was a fantastic approach to educating divers, and the diving industry” but she was astonished to find out that it provided the only internationally recognised environmental industry standards for sustainable diving. Since then they have dedicated their lives to developing Green Fins into a program which is providing business owners and national authorities with the tools and support needed to implement sustainable business best practices and mitigate environmental risk. Through the UK charity Reef-World, and with the support of the UNEP, Chloë has built a skilled team who are successfully replicating Green Fins within major sustainable travel and dive destinations across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and the Maldives.
Sustainable Diving for Marine Conservation
Chloë believes that the potential influence of the diving industry as an agent for environmental change can far outweigh the environmental risk of diving activities, and this philosophy lies at the heart of Green Fins. She will never forget the environmental messages engrained in her by the guide who first introduced her to a coral reef when she was 14. Chloë has personally assessed the environmental performance of over 300 Green Fins dive centers, which gives her and the program a unique insight into industry wide challenges to provide simple, affordable and lasting solutions to the challenges of today’s ocean issues.
Dive centres join Green Fins for free by committing to implement the code of conduct and allowing qualified Green Fins Personnel to assess their environmental performance on an annual basis. Dive staff are then offered training in sustainable practices and marine education to enable ongoing awareness raising within the dive centre to staff and customers.
“We’ll talk to the dive guides about how they can manage their guests better. This is an everyday challenge, especially when you’re working in Asia with the issue of losing face. You don’t want to tell someone when they’re doing something wrong. So it’s about training these dive masters who know the reefs better than anyone else, and they adore those reefs, and it breaks their heart when they see people acting irresponsibly. It’s about teaching them that it doesn’t need to be a confrontational or negative thing. Actually, it can add value to the customer’s experience. You can teach them a little bit about your reefs and how, when they come on holiday, they can help preserve them for maybe their children coming diving in the future.”” These sessions are really where the magic of Green Fins happens. This is where we really hear from the local community who are often the employees of the dive centers.”
What Is the Green Fins Code of Conduct?
Join Chloe to learn more about the successful sustainability programs offered thru Green Fins, or more about the Green Fins Code of Conduct, and find out how you might enroll in a Green Fins program. All of this and more is in the Chloe Harvey interview on the Blue Ocean Summit 2015: Chloe Harvey plus learn more about the Reef-World Foundation.
If Chloe gave you some great tips on improving the dive experience and at the same time protecting the marine environment you will find additional invaluable information on creating and implementing sustainability programs in Vicki Nichols Goldstein’s article at: Ocean Profiles Vicki Nichols Goldstein