July 2018 – Green Fins Philippines – Welcoming a new coordinator team in Mabini, Batangas Between 16th -20th July 2018, The Reef-World Foundation trained six field staff from the Community Environment and Natural Resource Offices Lipa and Calaca, and the Batangas Community Divers to coordinate the Green Fins approach in Mabini, Philippines. The municipality of Mabini includes the Barangay of Anilao, for which the area is commonly known. Being one of the oldest diving destinations in the country, Mabini hosts a vast number of dive shops and resorts. It borders the famous Verde Island Passage, which is known to have the highest levels of shore fish biodiversity in the world, and divers from all over the world flock here for reef and muck diving. It’s a choice location for underwater photography, with several international competitions throughout the year. However, it is also infamous for the of manipulating and harassing marine life for the perfect shot, putting additional pressure on local reefs Despite adverse weather conditions limited diving activities, the newly certified Green Fins coordinators dived into Green Fins implementation including recruitment and awareness raising activities, and established relationships with 18 dive shops during the course of the week, significantly building the capacity of these coordinators to engage private sector stakeholders for environmental action. Recruitment of Green Fins members has begun, interested dive shops can fill out the membership form and send it to [email protected]. Further Green Fins activities, including establishing this coordinator team as fully certified Assessors has been incorporated into 2019 work plans. Reef-World looks forward to continuing to support the DENR to harness the passion of the SCUBA diving industry to maximise their conservation potential and protect their business asset – the coral reefs.