Outdoor Sports – Engaging with or using nature?
The connection between outdoor sports and nature seems to be an obvious one, and indeed, through the pandemic more than ever people are drawn to the outdoors. However, just because activities are practiced outside, does not necessarily mean that they are done in harmony with nature. In some cases, outdoor sports practice can pose additional stress on already fragile habitats and sensitive species. Protected Areas managers are therefore confronted with the task of minimising the impact of outdoor sports on local fauna and flora, and at the same time, welcoming sport practitioners and other visitors so that more people can enjoy the recognised benefits of Health Enhancing Physical Activity in the outdoors.
Webinar summary and presentations
The session started with a welcome message to over 200 participants by Carol Ritchie, Executive Director at EUROPARC Federation.
Second, we heard from Daniele Piazza, director of the Dell’Ossola Protected Area in Italy. He presented the RESICETS project, in which his park works together with outdoor sport stakeholders in an integrated strategy to minimise the impact of outdoor activities on the alpine habitats and wildlife. You can re-watch the inspiring video Mr. Piazza shared at the end of his speech and find more information about the initiative “Be Part of the Mountain“ that tries to bring people to the mountains to appreciate not only the recreational activities, but also the natural wealth and diversity they host.
Our third speaker, Myles Farnbank of Wilderness Scotland and Leave No Trace, shared his perspective of an adventure guide and how the role of guides has evolved over time. He highlighted the importance of environmental ethics that good guides can hand over to the general public. Mr. Farnbank then presented the Adventure Travel Guide Standard, a useful tool to institutions, sustainable destinations and training programs, in order to build the capacity of the Outdoor sport sector on the three core responsibilities all trainers should have: Sustainability, Safety, and Quality and Meaning.
After a short Q&A session, Mike McClure from Sport Northern Ireland publicly launched the new ERASMUS+ SEE project. Led by Leave No Trace Ireland, ‘SEE’ stands for Sustainability and Environmental Education in Outdoor Sports and aims to tackle the un-coordinated approach to the teaching and communication of environmental ethics in outdoor sport and recreation.
The SEE Project
Training for a more sustainable, respectful and enjoyable outdoor sport experience.
This webinar publicly launched the ERASMUS+ SEE project, in which EUROPARC is one of the partners. Led by Leave No Trace Ireland, ‘SEE’ stands for Sustainability and Environmental Education in Outdoor Sports. The project aims to tackle the un-coordinated approach to the teaching and communication of environmental ethics in the spheres of outdoor sports and recreation.
We invite members across the EUROPARC network (and beyond) to take part and share their inputs via our new survey!