How the Island of Curaçao is practicing sustainable dive tourism and protecting our reefs for the future
At Diventures, we are positive advocates for the health of our oceans and waterways. We create awareness through our various media platforms, we provide education through our Kids Ecology classes and we help support conservation through our partnerships with SECORE International and our community zoos and waterways.
When we travel, our mindset does not change. We practice sustainable dive tourism, meaning we are conscious of the impacts, both positive and negative, created when we walk along the shore. Diventures is mindful when determining travel destinations and purposeful when choosing resorts and dive shops to partner with. Diventures recently relaunched trips to Curaçao, a hilly island country in the Dutch Caribbean and a very popular destination with our travelers. The Eastern part of the island has the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean and offers unique opportunities for ecotourism. Curaçao has over 70 dive sites and is great for spotting macro creatures such as frogfish, Christmas tree worms and flamingo tongue cowries. Another reason divers clamor to Curaçao is because of the dedication and time spent on sustainable dive tourism.
The Island of Curaçao believes in diving for a purpose. That’s why we dive with Ocean Encounters, the leading sustainable dive tourism operator on the island. Ocean Encounters is a Green Fins Digital member. Green Fins is a public-private initiative of the United Nations Environmental Program and The Reef World Foundation. They provide the only internationally recognized code of conduct used to reduce the environmental impact of the diving and snorkeling industry. “Members receive annual in-person assessments, on-site training for team members, and consultation to help the business develop and implement best practices to improve the sustainability of the marine tourism industry,” (Ocean Encounters).
“At Ocean Encounters, we believe it is our societal responsibility to create eco-policies internally that provide immediate solutions and a lasting effect externally for our business, our employees, our divers, our coral reefs and most importantly for the future of our beautiful Dutch Caribbean Island. This is why we are completely committed to Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao,” (Ocean Encounters).
Ocean Encounters has successfully completed their online self-evaluation and created their own action plan. Some of their initiatives include daily carbon footprint reduction using eco-friendly practices, bamboo cutlery to avoid single-use plastic, and diving with a purpose with Reef Renewal Curaçao.
Reef Renewal Curaçao
Reef Renewal Curaçao is an initiative of Ocean Encounters supported by Reef Renewal International. This non-profit organization is “dedicated to enhancing populations of threatened coral species across Curaçao and educating the public on the importance of the oceans. The main objectives of this program are the restoration of our shallow water reef system, educating the community, and protecting and preserving Curaçao’s natural ecosystems,” (Ocean Encounters).
They currently have eight nurseries around the island with a total of 55 trees. The restoration team also works closely with SECORE International, who Diventures also supports, to “constantly improve restoration techniques, innovations and share the data collection to benefit the shallow water reef systems of Curaçao and the greater Caribbean region,” (Ocean Encounters).
These are just a few of the ways the Island of Curaçao and Ocean Encounters are taking responsibility for our reefs. By doing so, we can enjoy the reefs for years to come. Learn more about Ocean Encounter’s initiatives here.
Coral restoration in Curacao with Reef Renewal Curacao. Ocean Encounters. (2022, August 15). Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://www.oceanencounters.com/coral-restoration-curacao/
Green Fins. The Reef-World Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://reef-world.org/green-fins
Home. Reef Renewal Curacao. (2022, April 13). Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://www.reefrenewalcuracao.org/
Horne, B. (2022, July 11). Nature conservation curacao: Economic recovery: Dive news curaçao. Dive Curaçao. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.divecuracao.info/blog/curacao-dive-news/economic-recovery-in-the-caribbean-islands-is-impossible-without-nature-conservation/
Horne, B. (2022, October 14). Sustainable dive tourism in Curacao: Ocean encounters pledge. Ocean Encounters. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://www.oceanencounters.com/ocean-encounters-pledge-to-sustainability-in-curacao/