It's The End of An Era!

Well, I’m back in England and man is it cold!

The view from my kitchen window......Brrrrrrrr!

I had time on the flight to think about all the amazing things me and the rest of the Zoox team have achieved in our short 6 weeks in El Nido. And it’s a lot! We signed up all the dive centres as Green Fins members and managed to get nearly all the assessments done before we had to leave. We also made good progress with adapting the assessment process to work for the snorkel tour industry (which is having the biggest impacts on the coral reefs in El Nido) and have carried out three assessments already! Joe and I wrote the Snorkel Industry management Strategy that now only needs input from a few more editors before it’s handed over to the local government. Hopefully we haven’t left the new El Nido assessor team too much work to do!

The people of El Nido were already so aware of the need to protect coral reefs and it was really great to see how enthusiastic everyone was about the Green Fins project. The vast majority of all the stakeholders we met throughout our time in El Nido wanted to make a change to reduce the damage occurring to the marine environment, and this attitude is what I think will make Green Fins so successful here. Green Fins is a great project and until you actually start working on it you don’t realise the huge and wide spread impacts it can have in an area.

Miniloc Island Resort - certified Green Fins Members

The Green Fins ICONs and Code of Conduct - on Snorkel Tour boats and helping guides give environmental briefings!

I have had such an amazing time on the ZEP and gained so many skills over the 8 weeks (some of which I didn’t even realise I had until the Professional Development Session!). Everyone at the El Nido Foundation have made us all feel so welcome and have been such valued members of the Green Fins team. Their help and enthusiasm has made our time in El Nido even better and I hope that they have enjoyed working with us as much as we enjoyed working with them. I would also like to say a special thank you to Joe and Matt for being such great people to work with and to Sam for being a brilliant Programmes Officer. And of course, last but by no means least, I would like to say a massive thank you to Chloe and JJ, they are genuinely amazing and inspirational people who have taught me a lot over the last 8 weeks. I realise that this paragraph sounds like an Oscar acceptance speech but oh well, it all needed to be said!All I have to do now is use all the extra skills I have learnt to get a job! Keep your fingers crossed!

Ta ta for now,

Jess

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