The Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS) of Egypt’s Red Sea announced in collaboration with The Reef-World Foundation that it will join the Greenfins program to reduce the impact of diving and marine activities on the environment, preserve the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba coral reefs, and achieve sustainable ecotourism.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched the program in Egypt to back biodiversity in the Egyptian tourism sector. The program was launched with the aim of achieving sustainable development in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment, Hisham Gabr, Chairman of the CDWS, said.
The team of CDWS has been granted official certificates declaring the approval of the program by accredited auditors of the UNDP, making Egypt the 11th country around the world to apply the Greefins initiative, he added.
CDWS hopes to significantly reduce negative environmental impacts by training workers from 30 diving centers and 150 diving guides total. CDWS will also increase awareness of sustainable tourism practices for 30,000 tourists during the first year of the initiative, Gabr said.
Gabr stressed that the tourism sector plays an important role in protecting coral reefs from the negative environmental impacts of diving and other marine activities.
The CDWS team currently has five auditors in South Sinai. The auditors are qualified to carry out the necessary assessments and train new members wishing to join the Greenfins initiative.
The second phase of this initiative aims to train between four and five new auditors to join the team in the Red Sea, he said.
Gabr pointed out that the Red Sea is characterized by pure warm water, clear visibility and a thriving aquatic ecosystem in addition to the availability of large multi-colored coral reefs that include many different fish and marine organisms.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm