Costa Rica, an ICRI member, is implementing Green Fins Environmental Standards and is the first country in the American continent to do so.
Green Fins is a proven conservation management approach – implemented internationally by ICRI members The Reef-World Foundation and the UN Environment Programme – which leads to a measurable reduction in the negative environmental impacts associated with marine tourism. It aims to protect coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines promoting sustainable diving and snorkelling. It provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for marine tourism and its robust assessment system measures compliance.
The Green Fins approach includes proven assessment criteria to identify and mitigate high-risk practices above and below the water. Green Fins members are evaluated annually based on a 15-point code of conduct, which measures the company’s impact on coral reefs: of a possible score of 330, the lower the score, the lower its impact. The robust assessment then enables Green Fins Assessors to provide one-to-one consultation to help the business develop and implement best practice to improve the sustainability of the marine tourism industry.
Green Fins is implemented in Costa Rica by Misión Tiburón through the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) with support from Cynthia Barzuna Gutiérrez, Vice Minister of Water and Seas.
Marine tourism in Costa Rica has been growing fast recently, with can pose potential risks to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs. The implementation of Green Fins in Costa Rica responds to the national and international goals set to reduce threats to biodiversity. One of its goals is to increase the number of marine tourism companies with sustainability certifications to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling industry in the country. The adoption of Green Fins in the country also contributes directly to the Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 14, established by the United Nations and adopted by Costa Rica.
Learn more about Green Fins’ Costa Rica launch here.