December 4, 2018

UNEP Partners with Dive, Reef Organizations to Promote Sustainable Diving

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

21 November 2018: The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and the Reef-World Foundation are partnering with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) to promote sustainable diving practices for marine environmental protection. The partnership aims to deliver tools and raise awareness to ensure the long-term sustainability of coral reefs, local livelihoods and recreational scuba diving.

The partnership will implement the “Green Fins” standard of best practice, which uses a three-pronged approach to support dive sustainability. The approach focuses on strengthening regulations, promoting green certifications of dive centers and supporting environmental education for dive staff, divers and governments. The partnership will work to ensure that every diver and dive operator around the world is equipped with the training and knowledge to relieve pressure on the marine environment.

Dive industry leaders can scale solutions with the urgency that is required to make sustainable diving and snorkeling the social norm globally.

PADI President and CEO Drew Richardson stressed that PADI recognizes the “serious and formidable issues threatening the world’s coral reefs,” and emphasized PADI’s commitment to empower divers and connect them to global issues relevant to the dive industry to help divers be a powerful catalyst for change. JJ Harvey, Reef-World Foundation, said the Foundation aims to reduce local threats to coral reefs to enable them to be more resilient to climate change and other impacts. Harvey welcomed the partnership with PADI and other dive industry leaders to “scale solutions with the urgency that is required” and make sustainable diving and snorkeling the social norm globally. He concluded that the partnership has the potential to “raise the sustainability bar of the diving industry” and help establish environmentally friendly diving as the global norm.

PADI is the world’s largest diving association. Its network includes over 25 million recreational divers, 135,000 professional divers and 6,500 dive centers and resorts around the world. With this reach, PADI has the potential to make an impact on environmental issues and promote sustainable dive tourism. [UNEP Press Release] [Green Fins Initiative] [PADI Website] [Reef-World Foundation Website]