Singapore – Four businesses and one individual championing ocean protection conservation and sustainable business practices in the marine tourism industry were honored at the BlueGreen360 Awards held on April 6, 2017 at this year’s Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) in Suntec City Singapore.
Now on its second year, the BlueGreen360 Awards celebrates businesses and individuals that are leading the way in implementing sustainable solutions in their day-to-day operations and sharing their knowledge and resources with the wider community. It also aims to highlight the value of healthy marine and coastal ecosystems to the industry.
The winners were judged by sustainable tourism and marine conservation experts such as Luigi Cabrini, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council; Rili Djohani Executive Director of the Coral Triangle Center (CTC), Gabriel Grimsditch of the United Nations Environmental Programme; and Chloe Harvey of Reef-World Foundation, in collaboration with the organisers of the ADEX.
This year’s winners have all exhibited their commitment to environmental programmes to protect marine biodiversity, successfully collaborated with various groups to promote on-the-ground marine conservation efforts that benefit the environment and the local community, as well as become inspirations for others to do the same.
The winners are:
Liveaboard of the Year: Kurabesi
Kurabesi Explorer Liveaboard operates as a social enterprise and is 100 percent owned by Indonesians and operated by a local crew. Kurabesi supports local culture as well as environmental conservation activities in the areas where it operates such as in Raja Ampat and the Birds Head Seascape in West Papua, Indonesia. On the ground, Kurabesi supports several non-government organisations in conducting scientific reef health monitoring activities as well as work with a local foundation to conduct forest cover monitoring in coastal areas. Onboard, some of Kurabesi’s sustainability efforts include reducing plastic waste by providing refillable water bottles and bamboo straws to guests; ensuring that waste accumulated onboard are processed properly upon reaching land; introducing guests to conservation activities such as reef health monitoring; and encouraging guests to go to less visited areas and travel in small groups to minimise direct environmental impact.
Dive Operator of the Year: Ceningan Divers Resort
Ceningan Divers Resort ensures that all dive guests go over local regulations, are aware of the environmental practices in the resort, in its dive operations, as well as in the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area where it operates. It conducts local community outreach and engagement programmes which has led to the creation of a recycling programme on the island. It supports non-government organisations conducting scientific research on mantas and molas as well as regular reef health monitoring. In its operation, Ceningan Divers Resort has zero plastic products on site, uses non-chemical cleaning materials and low-water technologies for its bathroom and toilet facilities, has a system to enable it to process and re-use its wastewater, and has onsite composting facilities. The resort has trained its entire staff on conservation, recycling, and composting.
Hotel and Resort of the Year: Reef Seen Divers Resort
Reef Seen Divers Resort, located in Pemuteran in Northwest Bali, has several ongoing projects that directly support marine conservation activities such as the Reef Gardeners project which trains and creates jobs for young fishers to actively protect the coral reefs, a sea turtle conservation project, a cultural dance project for local school children; a reef restoration project through Biorock; and the establishment of a tourist fund to support local conservation activities. It also organises a conservation week that brings together local community, dive operators, government and non-government organisations to discuss issues such as fisheries regulations, coral reef protection and marine conservation zoning plans. In its operations, Reef Seen uses clean technology to process wastewater and solar panels to power its turtle and reef restoration programmes.
Green Fins Award: Evolution Diving Resort
Evolution Diving Resort has achieved the #1 position amongst over 500 Green Fins members. Evolution has been Green Fins members since 2012 and each year they have shown a deepening commitment and measurable progress in reducing their environmental impact on the environment through the Green Fins assessment process. Now, in 2018, they have proven to have the lowest environmental impact of all Green Fins members globally. From working with the local community to raise awareness about marine debris to the strict enforcement of a “no touch” policy for every diver, Evolution’s team is exemplifying that sustainability and profit go hand-in-hand and protecting your primary business asset, the coral reefs, means protecting your business too.
Personality of the Year: Nicolas Resimont
Nicolas Resimont is the Director of Nico Dives Cool, a dive shop based in Bali. He promotes the zero-waste lifestyle and aims to inspire others to do the same – from his dive guests, his employees and the local community. Frequent beach and underwater cleans up are part of his monthly calendar while his team of local dive guides and dive masters are encouraged to do the same. The team is regularly trained by Nicolas on how to respect and protect the ocean and its marine life – why there is a need to protect the environment and slow down our consumption of plastic, and how marine life should be treated. In his business, he uses natural cleaning products, non-plastic packaged lunch box and no single use water bottles to show the right example to the local community and tourists coming to dive with him. He also makes it a point to provide his staff and clients with coral-safe organic sunscreen.
The business nominees were reviewed on how they maximise benefits and add value to marine biodiversity and coastal environment, adopt innovative means to minimise negative impact to marine and coastal environments, actively engage communities in sustainable marine tourism, and adopt sustainable environmental practices in its operations.
The individual winner was reviewed based on pioneering efforts in promoting sustainable marine tourism in the private sector and mobilisation of various stakeholders in promoting sustainable business practices.
On the other hand, Green Fins Award honours the top Green Fins member who has most effectively aligned their entire business strategy towards the protection of coral reefs. Hundreds of environmentally-conscious dive and snorkel centers throughout popular reef tourism destinations in Asia received thorough environmental performance assessments of their everyday business.
By highlighting businesses who value sustainability, the BlueGreen360 Awards will help to promote those people who are going about business in the right way, bringing them more customers and more success.
About the Organisers
Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) is the longest-running and the largest dive expo in Asia celebrating its 22nd year in 2017. A must-attend event for anyone interested or involved in the world of diving, the event has seen a continuous increase in visitors over the past few years, with ADEX 2017 attracting a total of 60,296 visitors over three days. Taking place from April 6 – 8, 2018 ADEX proudly presents world-renowned marine life artists, conservationists and photographers to speak about their passion and work towards marine life. It is organised by Underwater360 (UW360), and is an event endorsed by major organisations in the industry such as DEMA (USA), the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Underwater Federation (SUF). www.adex.asia
Coral Triangle Center (CTC) is an Indonesian foundation based in Bali with a regional scope and global impact. CTC provides training on sustainable fisheries and ensures that marine protected areas within the Coral Triangle are managed effectively. CTC supports on-the-ground programmes through its learning sites in Nusa Penida and the Banda Islands. CTC leads regional learning networks of women leaders, local government executives and marine protected area practitioners in the six Coral Triangle countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. CTC is an official partner of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) and is one of the convenors of the CTI-CFF Sustainable Marine Tourism Task Force. CTC works with communities, businesses, governments, and partners to shape lasting solutions to protect coral reef ecosystems and ensure sustainable livelihoods and food security. Please visit: www.coraltrianglecenter.org
Green Fins is paving the way to unite politics and sustainability for marine conservation at diving popular diving destinations around the world. Established through a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and The Reef-World Foundation in 2004, Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centres, strengthening regulations and environmental education for dive staff, divers and government. Almost 500 dive and snorkel operators across seven countries have signed up for free membership, and are using Green Fins as a platform to set examples of sustainable business operations. To find them and to find out how you can dive your way to a more sustainable future, visit www.greenfins.net