Featured, Mountain Protection

Following on from its contribution to the International Federations’ Impact In Leading The Way To Towards A Sustainability Agenda meeting in November 2017, the UIAA was one of twenty major federations to participate in a workshop dedicated to biodiversity conservation and organised by the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature held in Gland, Switzerland on 9 April. The session was chaired by Giulia Carbone, Deputy Head of Global Business and Biodiversity at the IUCN, and Julie Duffus, Sustainability Manager at the IOC. Gloria Scarano, Sustainability Coordinator, represented the UIAA.

During the meeting, the IUCN presented details of their new guide designed to help the sports industry understand its potential impacts on nature and the options for mitigating them. To support this message, the IUCN is building a network of federations and facilitating discussions not only about prevention but on identifying new opportunities for sport to enhance conservation.

The guide puts forward advice and examples to demonstrate how sport can have a positive contribution to nature conservation. This includes preserving green spaces, enhancing natural habitats in urban environments, sharing biodiversity data collected during the development of venues, and supporting carbon offset projects that will also generate biodiversity benefits.

A broad range of stakeholders could benefit from the guidance, including city authorities, who are key players in the development of new venues and bidding for sporting events; planners, architects and engineers tasked with choosing the location, design and construction of sports venues; venue owners, operators and government officials overseeing events; and national and international sports federations and local organising committees responsible for the planning and staging of events.

An active player in mountain protection, the UIAA can offer a very unique and tangible perspective, with the federation spearheading global projects like the Mountain Protection Award and Respect the Mountains, both designed with the clear objective to encourage climbers, mountaineers and outdoor sport practitioners to become more responsible mountain users.

The guide is the first in a series that the IUCN will produce as part of its partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Under the collaborative agreement, IUCN has provided input on the candidature process for the Olympic Games 2024, and other tasks related to IOC’s sustainability strategy.

The IUCN Sport and Biodiversity guide can be downloaded here.

The full IUCN news release on the 9 April meeting can be found here.