The Foundation for Environmental Education and the World Cetacean Alliance have mutually recognised their work and respective fields of expertise by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
Over the last four years, Blue Flag has worked on the expansion of its award to include sustainable boating tour operators in their activities such as diving, fishing, nature watching, bird watching, whale watching, etc. In doing so, Blue Flag started to work with various stakeholders that have an important role to play in the world of eco-tourism boats.
The World Cetacean Alliance is the world’s largest Partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). Through cooperation, the Partners of the World Cetacean Alliance aim to conserve and protect cetaceans and their habitats in the world’s oceans, seas and rivers, to ensure their continued health and survival.
As such, the World Cetacean Alliance quickly became a vital partner for the establishment of the criteria to award the Blue Flag to cetacean watching eco-tourism boats.
The World Cetacean Alliance has launched in 2016 the Whale Heritage Site, an accreditation to recognize the best global destinations for whale and dolphin watching. Blue Flag’s new award for whale and dolphin watching boats is a complementary scheme that helps the regions reach their goals.
Both organisations will be working hand in hand to further the work and achieve sustainability within the cetacean-watching industry.
“We applauded Blue Flag's recent move to begin awarding sustainable boating tour operators in their activities, including whale watching, diving, fishing, and other wildlife experiences. Now, through our partners, we are pleased to be able to advise on the whale watching aspect of this excellent and rigorous accreditation” says Dylan Walker, World Cetacean Alliance CEO, “We are also very grateful for all of the help and advice that we have received from Blue Flag for our Whale Heritage Sites initiative. I see great opportunities ahead for the WCA and Blue Flag as we continue to collaborate to ensure that coastal and marine tourism adopts a sustainable approach to championing marine wildlife!”
“It is with great pride that we partner with the World Cetacean Alliance, as they share our vision about responsible whale and dolphin watching. In a world where cetacean watching tourism is growing, it could become a pressure on the populations. It is very important to encourage sustainability, education and safety through these activities. I see many synergies between our two organisations and I know that this collaboration will be an important one for Blue Flag, but also for the Foundation for Environmental Education’s other programmes”, says Sophie Bachet Granados, International Blue Flag Director.
More about the World Cetacean Alliance : worldcetaceanalliance.org
More about the Whale Heritage Sites: whaleheritagesites.org