On the 13th – 15th November 2023, the Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEE) in outdoor sports project held an international learning symposium in Pullach near Munich. The venue was the Nature centre Burg Schwaneck at Pullach, near Munich
The event provided a dynamic atmosphere where environmental conservation, outdoor sports enthusiasts, and academics converged. The symposium aimed to delve into the intricate relationship between outdoor sports and nature, unravelling challenges, sharing experiences, and laying the groundwork for sustainable practices. At the event the SEE project toolkit was unveiled and participants had the opportunity to experiment with the activities from within it.
The symposium commenced with a warm registration and welcome session, setting the tone for an inspiring and interactive overall conference. As the day progressed, the Marketplace of Ideas commenced, showcasing spotlight sessions from prominent figures across Europe and indeed wider afield with one presentation (live online) from Uganda. From insights into the conservation of capercaillie in Scotland to the use of digital technologies for hiking and nature protection, participants were treated to a diverse array of perspectives. These discussions flowed seamlessly into a networking dinner, breaking the ice and fostering connections.
The evening took an unexpected turn with the “Where Sports Meet Nature Networking” session – a speed dating extravaganza that transcended traditional networking boundaries. The symposium’s official opening featured Carol Ritchie from EUROPARC, delving into the challenges of outdoor sports and nature conservation.
On day 2 the morning session featured Carol Ritchie from EUROPARC, delving into the challenges of outdoor sports and nature conservation. This was followed by an introduction to the research findings from the SEE project, uncovering the challenges in natural protected areas and the current state of European outdoor sports education.
The SEE Toolkit took centre stage as Barbara Eigenschenk from TUM guided participants through its resources. The day continued with practical interactive sessions covering a broad range of topics, from community engagement to mountain biking specifics, offering a hands-on approach to sustainability and environmental education.
The evening was punctuated with thought-provoking sessions on the climate strategy of the German Alpine Club and an inspiring session by Ana Zirner who provided reflections through film and an interview on personal pathways to sustainability, calling participants to action. The day concluded with a social evening, blending music, drinks, and networking into a vibrant tapestry
The final day dawned with Simon Lewis from Team Planet shedding light on the policy aspect of greening sports with insights on the headline findings from the EU Green Sports Expert Group which is now published . Deep dive and networking sessions unfolded, focusing on specific sports and environments, from mountain and water sports to trail-based activities and winter sports.
Noel Doyle from Leave No Trace Ireland drew the event to a close with insightful conclusions and recommendations, encapsulating the essence of the symposium.
For more information visit www.see-project.eu