The ENOS Policy Position Paper on the EU Green Deal is a fairly long and detailed document that highlights our views on the green deal but also how the outdoor sports sector can respond to support its implementation. Our response involved the creation of 10 distinct sections or chapters and over the coming weeks our sustainability group will provide some key information on each of these topics:
- Reconnecting people with nature to help increase, enhance and protect biodiversity
- Being green, eating green and supporting sustainable agriculture
- Clean energy for clean and green sports
- Sustainable industries, resources and equipment for outdoor sports
- Greening our outdoor infrastructure
- Be mobile, #BEACTIVE
- Zero pollution in our natural environment
- Climate action
- Research and innovation
- Investing in a green future
Being green, eating green and supporting sustainable agriculture
It is now clear that conventional agriculture has a harmful impact on the environment, through the loss of biodiversity, air and soil pollution, severe eutrophication, artificial drainage that can lead to ecosystem imbalances, soil erosion and flooding etc.
Why does this topic concern outdoor sports?
Nature: the main area for outdoor sports (rivers, lakes, forests…) is impacted by pollution linked to our modern production and consumption, in which intensive farming is participating. If rivers, lakes and waterways are polluted there are less places for water sports enthusiasts to practice their passion and less resources that are essential for life on earth. Polluted paths and forests will see less and less hikers, runners, adventurers, horse riders… Let’s also note that practicing in such places can be a risk for the health of the practitioners.
Faced with these facts, ENOS supports the principles of regenerative organic farming and recommends important measures to encourage sustainable agriculture and the move towards a total elimination of pesticides.
ENOS recommends the creation of buffer zones (with access trails) around all waterways and along agricultural fields, through cultivating and planting local species. This will promote the improved functioning of ecosystems, enhance biodiversity in natural areas and to mitigate soil erosion, flooding and pollution etc… Moreover, it can be a great opportunity for rural communities to connect with nature (we saw the benefits in the previous article of the Chapter 1) and to encourage healthy physical activity.
Finally, ENOS encourages its members, outdoor enthusiasts, clubs and the entire sector to consume locally and sustainably and to buy seasonal and environmentally friendly products from local producers for their events. This is the choice that ENOS has made during the conception of the Euro’Meet 2022, whose environmental impact seeks to be minimized as much as possible and even to reverse the trend by having a positive impact. Acting in favour of the environment, for healthy agriculture must also be a priority for the sustainability of outdoor and nature sports and the severely impacted practice areas.