The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Reef-World Foundation(Reef-World) have announced a new organisational partnership to promote marine conservation and the sustainable development of marine initiatives and opportunities. As part of the agreement, PATA has officially endorsed Reef-World and Green Fins, a management approach to promote and measure compliance to an environmental code of conduct for sustainable diving and snorkelling activities for destinations, dive operators and related ancillary products and services.
“Concerns are growing about marine tourism conservation issues. I believe that this is a developing area of interest for many PATA members including island and archipelago states across Southeast Asia and many private sector businesses,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “We look forward to gaining insights about Reef-World’s monitoring of best practices of the diving and snorkelling tourism industry internationally through Green Fins. This partnership means that PATA members now have improved access to knowledge that can help us make a real difference, at the grassroots level, on a wide range of marine tourism issues.”
The Reef-World Foundation is a UK-based charity that has worked with local people to conserve coral reefs in South East Asia, the world centre for biodiversity, for over 20 years. It began in 1993 with a series of programmes educating local communities in Thailand on the sustainable use of marine resources. Since then, it has focussed on education within coastal communities, with an interest in sustainable dive and snorkel tourism, initially focused in Southeast Asia and now globally.
Reef-World originally established Green Fins through a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2004. It is the world’s only UNEP-recognised international environmental standards for SCUBA diving and snorkeling activities and the only approach to combine these standards with performance assessment.
PATA members will also have access to relevant information that relates specifically to diving, snorkelling and marine tourism. This information will be available on PATA’s online sustainability platform, sustain.pata.org.