Personnel of the Municipal Tourism Office of El Nido under the Reef Watch program participated in the Green Fins program for El Nido. The team underwent training that started on August 6, 2013. Reef Watch is a section in the Tourism Office that is task to protect El Nido’s eco-systems from the damages caused by tourism activities. They educate tourists, clean up the islands, gather Crown of Thorns [a type of star fish that feed on coral polyps], monitor boat anchorage and repair damaged mooring buoys.
Meanwhile, Green Fins is a program funded by United Nations Environment Program [UNEP] that accredits dive shops around the world that practice sustainable tourism. It will be in El Nido where they will accredit snorkeling tours operators for the first time.
Partnership between Green Fins program and Reef Watch program was made possible through El Nido Foundation, Inc., the implementing partner of Green Fins in El Nido.
The training will continue through a series of field works, assessment and participation in different Green Fins activities. Both El Nido Foundation and the Municipal Tourism are hoping that the Reef Watch program would fill the missing component in the Green Fins program: the visibility of enforcers in the area.