[EVENT in Brussels] Outdoor sports and nature conservation, drivers of a healthy, inclusive and sustainable society

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After the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by EUROPARC Federation and the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS), the first step of the collaboration was the creation of the 10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas. Now, in line with this initiative, we present the first joint event, which will take place in Brussels early March, to share and exchange views with representatives of European Institutions, private sector and NGOs.

Join us in Brussels for the event:

Outdoor sports and nature conservation – drivers of a healthy, inclusive and sustainable society

  • 3r March 2020, 15h00 – 17h30
  • Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels, Chaussée d’Etterbeek 180, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
  • Participation is free but registration is mandatory
  • >>>Register here<<<

Why we want you at this meeting:

The aim of this meeting is to increase mutual knowledge and analyse how EU institutions, EUROPARC, ENOS and other organisations can work together on European Policies to promote the value of outdoor sports and nature conservation for health, well-being and environmental sustainability.

We invite Protected Area and nature professionals, but also representatives of NGOs, sports Federations, members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, to join us in the meeting and sit around the same table.

By working together, we can significantly support the principles and outcomes expected with the new European Green Deal. During this networking event, will look at the core challenges for EU Sport policies to achieve a more healthy and inclusive society and draw on the benefits provided by protected areas, as our “natural health centres”.

The discussion will help us to:

  • Showcase the benefits of Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas including health and well-being, social inclusion, sustainable tourism, education and environmental engagement.
  • Showcase good examples of how people are managing outdoor sports in Protected Areas to minimise their impact on wildlife and ecology.
  • Discuss how policymakers and European Institutions can work more effectively on this issue, setting environment (Protected Areas) as a key topic for the new EU Work Plan for Sport (2020-2023).
  • Nature health centres as a cornerstone. The Jurmala Communiqué 2019: healthy parks, healthy people.
  • Enlarge the possibilities of outdoor activities that may take place in Protected Areas, so that they are seen as valuable outdoor grounds.
  • Sustainability as a guideline: importance of economically viable projects.

Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas: challenges and opportunities ahead

In the last decade, there has been a considerable increase in participation in outdoor sports and activities (see the Special Eurobarometer 472 on Sport and Physical Activity) often attributed to the very positive benefits for physical health and mental well-being that being active in nature brings…

However, if not well managed by authorities and responsible organisations, healthy activity for people could turn into an unhealthy activity for nature!

Source: Toolbox Outdoor Activities for Inclusion

Protected Areas have their own capacity issues and can be damaged by an excess of people or harmful activities. This is why the EUROPARC Federation and the European Network of Outdoor Sports have joined forces to develop and promote the 10 principles of responsible and respectful outdoor sports. Our ultimate aim is to support more “Green Exercise & Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas” but done so in responsible and sustainable ways.

The European Green Deal provides a great opportunity and appropriate framework for increasing both the number and range of natural spaces – including those adjacent to urban areas. Support a carbon-neutral Europe with a healthy environment and provide access for responsible outdoor activities, will contribute to a healthier society.

Simultaneously, ensuring that society and communities value our Protected Areas in Europe is essential for maintaining the wonderful biodiversity they contain, their ability to absorb carbon, their production of oxygen and regulation of our climate. Engaging people with these special places and promoting their value can be done very effectively through outdoor sports.

The 10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas are available in 8 languages


As places are limited, please proceed to registration at the following link:

>>>>>REGISTER HERE <<<<<

Download the latest version of the programme:

Provisional Programme