The Reef-World Foundation – the international co-ordinator of UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – has successfully trained and certified three new Green Fins trainers from the Green Fins Egypt national team.
Due to the increasing demand for the Green Fins programme by dive and snorkel operators in Egypt, the Green Fins Egypt team conducted the Green Fins ‘Train the Trainer' programme in October 2022.
Reef-World developed the ‘Train the Trainer' programme to assist the national teams in becoming more independent and sustainable. Following the week of training, Egypt now has a national Green Fins team comprised of three fully certified Green Fins trainers and nine Green Fins assessors from the Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS). They are now qualified to train new Green Fins assessors in the country, building capacity for the initiative’s continued expansion in the country.
Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “The team behind Green Fins in Egypt are such a unique mix of individuals with decades of diving experience and more than 100,000 dives between them. The team is constantly breaking down barriers and thinking really innovatively to work with the industry to overcome some systemic patterns of behaviour. By building their capacity to now train new assessors, they are more sustainable as a national team and can plan ahead to ensure they have the right people in the right places to continue to drive change within the marine tourism industry. I’m really hopeful that as the Green Fins network in Egypt grows, we can engage the right government agencies in further supporting the future sustainability of the Egyptian diving and snorkelling industry.”
Green Fins Egypt was launched in September 2019. The programme was piloted in the South Sinai Governorate with the CDWS leading all Green Fins activities in the country. The plan is to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Egypt by guiding operators towards a more sustainable operating model. Training and encouraging the adoption of the Green Fins management approach to reduce their impact on the marine environment.
Mostafa Hefny, Chairman of the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said: “Green Fins is raising awareness of the diving industry on the importance of sustainability and providing useful solutions to our problems. Egypt is leading the way in sustainable diving in the Middle East and African region.”
Building on the successful pilot, Green Fins was then expanded to be available to all dive and snorkel operators across Egypt in 2020. The team was lucky to complete the roll-out before the pandemic hit and travel restrictions prevented further implementation. Despite the setback, the team has continued to assess Members where possible, and there are now Green Fins certified dive and snorkel operators in all of the key destinations in the Red Sea.
Lina Challita, Environmental Manager at the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said: “As a team, we are happy to become some of the few assessor trainers in the world. We hope to reach as many operators as possible and help with positive change in the industry.”