Dive Ninja awarded as first PADI Eco Center in Mexico and one of the first 3 in the world!
Today we are super excited to announce that Dive Ninja has been awarded as the first PADI Eco Center in all of Mexico – as well as one of the first few in the entire world! On Earth Day this year, PADI rolled out the new Eco Center rating by showcasing the first 10 dive centers in the world to be chosen for the coveted award. The program is designed to help divers find operators that are making a significant contribution towards protecting the ocean. It aims to empower divers to travel with a purpose and create positive ocean change from abroad and from home.
Julie Andersen, global brand director for PADI Worldwide explained, “The PADI Eco Center credentials designate our members who exemplify environmental stewardship in their operations. The ultimate goal is to connect ocean lovers with sustainability leaders in the dive industry through a rigorous verification that gives travelers the confidence that their tourism dollars are going to make a positive impact.”
A 2022 study by Reef World Foundation, the organization that manages the United Nations’ Green Fins initiative, found that 95% of divers are looking for sustainable operators when booking a trip, but often struggle to book with confidence. This has been tied to a rise in greenwashing within the tourism and travel industries globally. Greenwashing is when a business portrays themselves to be environmentally friendly but in reality, is not. When Green Fins & Reef World presented the findings of their study at DEMA this past autumn our own Jay Clue was there as a guest speaker talking about why sustainable dive tourism is so important. “It was incredible to see the data from their study. It underlined a question we had been receiving constantly from our guests at Ninja — how can I tell which businesses are actually doing good things and which are greenwashing?”, says Jay Clue. The global dive community needed a transparent, trustworthy global eco label that addresses greenwashing fears and makes identification of “green” operators easier. In response to this, PADI, in collaboration with Green Fins and Reef World, created the PADI Eco Center rating, a credential awarded only to those dive centers who exhibit a continued commitment to conservation efforts and support both the goals & objectives of PADI’s Blueprint for Ocean Action and the global agenda to protect the ocean.
What is required to become a PADI Eco Center?
Creating the PADI Eco Center rating leveraged the joint expertise and decades of experience that both the PADI AWARE Foundation and Green Fins carry in ocean conservation. Requirements to be selected for the award take into factor a compilation of achievements as well as an ongoing dedication to conservation. This should help weed out any businesses trying to make quick changes just to earn the award before going back to greenwashing — a problem seen in many other ‘eco awards’ in the tourism industry. Unlike other awards the PADI Eco Center award process requires approximately a year’s elapsed time to officially become verified. From here, there are three base criteria that PADI Operators must meet to qualify as a PADI Eco Center:
- Ongoing participation in the PADI AWARE Adopt the Blue™ program
- Be an active Green Fins Member holding a high score in their program
- Demonstrate an exemplary level of environmental performance, through the above programs and others
As the first PADI Eco Center in Los Cabos, Mexico, Dive Ninja hopes to inspire other dive centers to follow suit and commit to protecting the oceans that give us all so much. “We want to keep building the community of passionate ocean lovers in Los Cabos so that one day this is what Cabo is known for – a community that goes out of their way to protect the beauty & biodiversity found in our waters”, says Jay Clue. In only a few short years Dive Ninja has grown a solid reputation around the world for setting a new standard in sustainable dive tourism. It is something every member of the team is passionate about and proud to work tirelessly for. Whether it is through their Cabo scuba diving programs, citizen science expeditions, multiple marine debris programs, conservation & community outreach initiatives, or marine wildlife conservation courses. While Dive Ninja’s conservation focused dive professional training, such as their PADI Divemaster and PADI Instructor programs work to help continuing to drive impact around the world through equipping the next generation of dive professionals with skills and training not found in other programs.