SEE PROJECT: Partners gathered for the first exchange programme in Serbia
In the early stages of the SEE project, there were a number of surveys conducted in order to discover and analyse the challenges linked to outdoor sports in National Parks and Protected Areas. The project has now entered a new phase that includes several exchange programs.
During the event, the host – Mountaineering Association of Tara presented a very interesting pilot project, concerning the inclusion of mountaineering in the educational curriculum of schools in the area. The aim of the course is to expose children to nature from an early age.
In the 3-day programme, partners focused on exchanging methods to educate participants about responsible practices to minimize impacts on the natural environment, especially for outdoor sports involving mountainous terrains, such as mountaineering and hiking. In addition, participants also discussed how planning and good preparation for any outdoor activity are essential in order to avoid environmental impacts and accidents.
Furthermore, one of the topics discussed was the time needed for various types of waste and materials to degrade. Leader of the SEE project, Leave no Trace, Ireland, produces educational material on this subject. For instance, the Outdoor Ethics Guide for Trainers provides great guidance on this topic.
Additionally, as a basic set of rules for responsible conduct in all outdoor sports in Protected Areas, the 10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas were introduced. These principles are available in 7 different languages.
Endorse the 10 Good Principles
You can support and contribute to the implementation of the 10 Good Principles in several ways:
- Show the 10 Good Principles on your website. Visitors who prepare their trips will be better informed.
- Disseminate information on social media. Use your network to spread the word!
- Use your visitor centre to show and talk about the principles during the visits.
- If you organise or participate in an outdoor sports event, make sure participants know the principles before the activity starts.
- When working with young people, teach them and highlight the importance of respecting these principles. Five minutes of teaching can develop into many years of good practice.
- Talk and spread the word to anyone interested, in any way. All diffusion is important!
Keep in mind that although this behaviour may be obvious, it is not so common in outdoor sports. Your participation is crucial to preserving our natural heritage.