Project partners from the SEE Project come together for the first project exchange meeting in Serbia at the Tara National Park.
During the last week of September, IMBA Europe met with fellow project partners for the transnational Erasmus SEE project, which took place in the Tara National Park in Serbia. The goal of these exchange meetings is to gather input & methodologies to include environmental education and sustainability principles in outdoor sports training programs. The exchange between different sports + the valuable input from external experts will help to develop a training toolkit for instructors, leaders, guides to practice their chosen sports in a sustainable manner to minimise impacts on the natural environment.
The 3-day program included a mixture of presentations by experts from both the sporting and environmental sector, about responsible practices for outdoor sports involving mountainous terrains, such as mountaineering and hiking, to reduce their impacts on the natural environment. Through group activities, participants identified how planning and good preparation for outdoor activities could help to avoid environmental impacts and accidents. One such activity was to look at best case/worst case scenarios when planning an outdoor activity as a guide/instructor. Such questions that came to mind were means of transport to the starting point of your activity and waste management.
Serbia as a case study highlighted the importance of proper waste management education, as Serbia doesn’t support/provide public waste disposal in 90% of the country. This further highlighted to the partners the importance of visitors being conscious of their own ecological footprint by reusing, re-purposing, and reducing waste. Leader of the SEE Project, Leave No Trace Ireland provided educational material on the lifespan/ degradation time of various types of waste and materials. You can read more information on the subject via the ‘Outdoor ethics guide for trainers’ which provides guidance on this topic.
This week we will be heading to Viana do Castelo (Portugal) for the second exchange meeting looking into the relationship between water based activities and the natural environment.