The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of the UN Environment’s Green Fins initiative – and Paralenz are proud to announce the launch of a scholarship campaign to help scuba diving guides receive vital environmental certification. The Dive Guide e-Course Scholarship Fund, which was created by Reef-World and has been kicked off with a generous donation of £1,000 from Paralenz, as part of a wider partnership with the charity, which will enable 50 dive guides to receive their Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course environmental certification.
The Scholarship Fund has been created in response to feedback from dive guides who have passed the course and are keen to download and display their personalised electronic certificate but are not financially able to cover the associated cost (£19 / $24 USD). Reef-World and Paralenz are now calling for dive guides who meet the criteria (outlined below) to submit their application.
Dive guides in need can apply for the scholarship at any time through the Green Fins website and funds will begin to be allocated once 50% of the campaign goal has been reached. To be eligible for the scholarship, guides must: have completed and passed all modules of the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course; be able to demonstrate they or their employer are not financially able to purchase the certificate; and be a national of a country which receives official development assistance from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris as well as the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures. The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course, created with the support of Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS), teaches dive professionals how to prevent diving-related damage to coral reefs by following the highest environmental standards and better managing their guests to prevent damage to the reef. On completion of the free course, dive guides can opt to donate £19 ($24) to receive a personalised electronic certificate. The certificate can then be displayed to entice eco-minded guests by informing them the guide is aware of how to reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with diving.
Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “Since the launch of the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course earlier this year, hundreds of dive professionals around the world have taken the course and learned how to minimise the negative environmental impacts associated with diving. But now we need your help. Our ethos at Reef-World, and the purpose of the Green Fins initiative, is to empower and educate ALL dive professionals – no matter what their background or financial status – to protect coral reefs. We’re so grateful to the team at Paralenz for funding 50 dive guides to benefit from a Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course certificate which proves their status as an environmentally conscious dive professional. Please give generously and help support a dive guide in their sustainability journey today.”
Jacob Dalhoff, Partnership Manager at Paralenz, said: “To build meaningful and impactful partnerships is a big part of our ethos. As a company with a passion for the ocean, we need to do everything we can to raise awareness about how to preserve it – Our partnership with The Reef-World Foundation and the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course initiative is contributing a lot to this mission.”
Supporters who are interested in helping additional dive guides receive their certifications can also donate to the Scholarship Campaign. Donors who support the Dive Guide e-Course Scholarship Fund will receive thanks** in the form of their name (or that of their business) mentioned:
- Between £20 and £79 – as a thank you in Reef-World’s 2019-2020 Annual Report
- Between £80 and £229 – on Green Fins social media (once on the channel of your choice: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and in Reef-World’s 2019-2020 Annual Report
- Between £300 and £699 – on Green Fins and Reef-World’s social media (two mentions in total across Reef-World/Green Fins’ channels) and in Reef-World’s 2019-2020 Annual Report
- Between £700 and £1,399 – on Green Fins and Reef-World’s social media (two mentions) and your name, logo and company website included in Reef-World’s 2019-2020 Annual Report
- Above £1,400 – 1) Promotion on Green Fins and Reef-World’s social media (two mentions across Reef-World/Green Fins’ channels); 2) Your name, logo, company website and 100 words about your business included in Reef-World’s 2019-2020 Annual Report; 3) Your company logo included on the Reef-World and Green Fins websites for one year; 4) Opportunity to provide a guest blog post for the Reef-World or Green Fins website.
Dive guides who want to be considered for scholarship can visit https://www.greenfins.net/green-fins-dive-guide-scholarship-applications to apply. To donate to the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship Fund, please visit https://www.greenfins.net/appeal/sponsor-a-dive-guide.