You’ve heard the saying, “It makes no sense to reinvent the wheel.”
Two eco-diving groups we learned about at #BlueOceanSummit 2015 have taken this saying to heart with a new collaboration. At first blush, you would think Green Fins and Green Bubbles are stepping on each others’ toes – as two sustainable business initiatives that are going after the same market segment.
But then you’d be wrong
The two groups realized that their programmes have many synergies that can be leveraged for the benefit of both parties. Green Fins and Green Bubbles have since entered into an agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) that formally commits the people behind each program to share lessons and work together to make the outcomes of each bigger, better with maximum conservation impact.
Says Chloe Harvey of Green Fins, “The collaboration we are embarking on this year is about sharing our experiences and strengthening the impact of other people’s hard work through the use of our growing network.”
“Mutual learning – through sharing lessons learned and case studies – economic valuation to support environmental certification, and reinforced promotion of a sustainable diving industry are just some of the key areas we have identified for collaboration”, says counterpart at Green Bubbles Martina Milanese.
Internationally coordinated by Reef-World Foundation, Green Fins was established in 2004 is an initiative funded by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). It is now deeply embedded in the Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Maldives.
Green Fins offers the only recognised environmental set of standards with a comprehensive management approach: It provides guidance and support for business owners and national government authorities to promote best practices from the top down. Annual Assessments are carried out and those showing improvement in following the Code of Conduct are awarded certificates, allowing tourists to choose environmentally responsible travel options.
The new kid on the sustainable standards block, Green Bubbles launched last year in Portofino, Italy as a sustainable business initiative for the European Dive Industry. Funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 Blue Economy research and innovation programme, Green Bubbles is run by a consortium of nine entities, including universities, research organisations, educational organisations and SMEs from Italy, the Netherlands, Malta, Turkey, South Africa and the United States.