The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and Sail Training International have joined forces to promote FEE’s Blue Flag programme to help protect the world’s marine environment. The programme, to be known as the ‘Sail Training International Blue Flag Scheme’, is open to sail training vessels that belong to Sail Training International’s member national organisations in 26 countries and others that participate in sail training Tall Ships events.
Participating vessel operators will sign a Code of Conduct that will apply to everyone on board to minimise their impact on the marine environment both at sea and in port.
“The marine environment is deteriorating almost everywhere around the world and people who go to sea have an important role in its protection,” says Finn Bolding Thomsen, Director of FEE. “We are delighted to have Sail Training International’s support and look forward to working through them with vessel operators and the young trainee crew members to really ‘make a difference’.”
“The Blue Flag programme began 23 years ago mainly to help clean up beaches and harbours. More recently it has been extended for ship and boat owners,” says Nigel Rowe, President and Chairman of Sail Training International. “The sail training world, both owners and trainee crew members, will want to do all they can to minimise pollution at sea. We plan to give this our full support.”
Sail Training International and the Foundation for Environmental Education will work directly with vessel operators, and through the 26 national sail training organisations around the world as well as Sail Training International’s International Youth Forum. The scheme will be launched at the Sail Training International Annual Conference in November (Stavanger, Norway, to be attended by more than 400 sail trainers and host port representatives) for implementation to begin in 2011.