In an effort to ensure that the environment that make St Helena unique does not change with economic expansion, the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate has developed a Marine Environment Accreditation Scheme – initially to run as a pilot. The scheme only applies to persons wishing to engage in commercial marine tourism activities within St Helena’s Exclusive Economic Zone
The scheme sets out environmental best practices and standards needed to support the long-term sustainability of both the marine tourism industry and the marine environment. It is designed to protect the quality of St Helena’s marine tourism product and to add value to locally owned and operated businesses.
Its overarching principles are accountability, pride and a sense of responsibility amongst marine tour operators in protecting the marine environment thorough their wildlife interaction, habitat respect and marine conservation advocacy.
During February, ENRD’s Marine Conservation Section held various training events and provided materials to ensure that local marine tour operators were ready to undertake initial assessments.
Subsequently, Robert Bedwell from ‘Bedwell’s Enterprise’, Jonathan Herne from ‘Enchanted Isle Ltd’, Anthony Thomas from ‘Sub-Tropic Adventures’, Craig Yon and Keith Yon from ‘Into the Blue’ have all successfully attained their Marine Environment Accreditation status.
Marine Conservation Officer Elizabeth Clingham commented:
“I want to congratulate these marine tour operators on their achievements.
“Spot-check assessments will continue throughout the year to ensure that the standards they have attained are maintained.”
18 March 2016