New guidelines for conducting environmentally friendly beach and underwater cleanups
The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – has launched new Green Fins cleanup guidelines to help dive and snorkel operators organise and host environmentally friendly coastal cleanups.
The guidelines guide dive professionals step-by-step through everything they’ll need to consider before, during and after beach and underwater cleanups. The guidance includes: how to choose a suitable location; promoting your event; briefing and educating participants; documentation of the event; best practice for underwater trash collection; tips for promoting your event; and data collection methods and reporting to initiatives that can use this information to shape global policy.
Samantha Craven, Programmes Manager at Reef-World, said: “Trash in our oceans is a serious problem that threatens the marine environment and dependent livelihoods. Around 80% of marine trash comes from land-based sources and, although it is an entirely man-made problem, it is also entirely preventable. As well as refusing single-use items, reducing your waste, reusing items and recycling trash, you can become part of the solution by taking part in, or running, beach and underwater cleanup events and recording your data to influence long-term solutions and decision making.
“We’ve been so impressed to see so many Green Fins members organising cleanups as soon as they were able to resume activities. Every event will make a difference, however big or small! Our new guidelines have been created to help marine tourism operators who are conducting beach and underwater cleanups do so in an environmentally friendly way while providing education on marine debris issues during the event. This guidance – which includes key things to consider before, during and after the cleanup – will help ensure no further damage is caused to marine ecosystems while teams are removing marine debris.”
The Green Fins cleanup guidelines are available free of charge for Green Fins members and non-members alike. They can be downloaded here.