Orienteering in PEFC certified forests: when sport enhances the forests
20 January 2014 News
Sport and forest certification have once again come together to spread the values of sustainability, environmental responsibility and proper forest management, thanks to an agreement signed between PEFC Italy and the Italian Federation of Orienteering Sports (FISO).
With orienteering making the 'woods' its field of competition, and therefore naturally sensitive to the careful and sustainable use of forest ecosystems, it is an ideal sport for highlighting the advantages of forest certification.
PEFC Italy and FISO have come together to promote the sport of orienteering and the benefits of sustainable forest management - building on the momentum from two Italian events, the 2013 Fiemme Nordic Ski World Championships and the recent 2013 Winter Universiade, both of which had PEFC at their heart.
Following the agreement, the two organizations will work together to show orienteering as a sport that promotes knowledge and protection of the forest environment. They will also organize the World Orienteering Championships and Trail Orienteering World Championships that will be held in Northeast Italy (Trentino and Veneto regions) between 5 and 13 July 2014, bringing around 1,000 lovers of this ‘forest sport’ into PEFC certified areas of Italy.
Orienteering training initiatives will be dedicated space and time to discover the benefits and criteria of sustainable forest management. During the orienteering itself, wood and food will be sourced locally to strengthen the competitors’ relationship with the land, and the paper material will be PEFC certified, providing assurances that it originated in a sustainably managed forest.
Furthermore, FISO has adopted a ‘green purchasing’ policy for sustainable and certified products (paper and other wood products) for their ordinary activities and for 2014 World Orienteering Championships.
The agreement was signed during an event organized in Paluzza (Udine district) at the Service Centre for Forestry and Activities of the Mountain (CESFAM) in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The location of the event was not random, as CESFAM has hosted the first Federal Center of FISO since 2010. Furthermore, the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of the founders of PEFC Italy, and has helped to spread the values of sustainable forest management certification throughout Italy, making it possible for 81,000 hectares of forest in the region to become PEFC certified.
The event was attended by Pier Luigi Ferrari, President of PEFC Italy; Mauro Gazzero, President of FISO; Manuela Di Centa, honorary member of the International Olympic Committee and multiple Olympic medal winner; and Sergio Bolzonello, the Vice-President of the Regional Council and Councilor for rural resources and forestry.