Leave No Trace Ireland excited to welcome SEE Project partners to Achill Island

Leave No Trace Ireland and Europarc Federation to co-host EU SEE Project partner exchange at the Achill Outdoor Education and Training Centre

Leave No Trace Ireland, Europarc Federation and Achill Outdoor Education Training Centre (OEC) are delighted to welcome international partners and experts in Sustainability and Outdoor Education to Achill Island.

The Sustainability and Outdoor Education (SEE) Project aims to enhance the protection of natural landscapes through education on responsible outdoor behaviour in sports with a special focus on skills development for outdoor sports leaders, trainers, guides, and instructors.

The Achill exchange includes the development of an educational best practice toolkit for outdoor educators. The exchange, which will run from Monday 13th June for five days, will feature practical outdoor sessions from both national and international organisations and experts across Europe.

The objective of the SEE Project will also help to promote voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion, equal opportunities, and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity, all in a frame of sustainable development and in line with the new Green Deal for Europe.

Leave No Trace Ireland has been working in collaboration with partner outdoor sports professionals and conservation organisations in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden, and France to deliver this EU Erasmus+ project.

The SEE Project gathers and builds on the shared learning from across Europe, of successful programmes that have delivered environmental and sustainability education in outdoor sports and activities. The goal of the exchange programme is to develop a compendium of good practices through collaboration and to develop practical awareness and knowledge of environmental education processes in partner countries. The themes for the Irish Exchange in Achill will include Environmental Ethics, Inclusion in Outdoor Sports, and Community Engagement.

Speaking ahead of the exchange, Erasmus Project Coordinator from Leave No Trace Ireland, Dr Noel Doyle, has said,

“I am very excited about this exchange; it is a great opportunity to showcase the excellent moves Ireland has made in the development of this sector. I must give a special thanks to Achill OEC and Michael Kane for his aid in the facilitation of the exchange, as well as the trainers, guides and experts who are giving up their time to contribute to this event.”

Sports are hugely important from an economic and community point of view in the contribution they make to the wider economy, and to social and community cohesion, development, and general wellbeing. But outdoor sports and leisure activities, particularly where these are high impact sports, can take a toll on the natural environment, whether on land, sea, or on our waterways. This can take many different forms including impacting on biodiversity and wildlife, creating overused activity hubs or generating waste, particularly plastic as a by-product of sporting activity.

Michael Kane, Managing Director of Achill OEC spoke of the opportunities for the project research, “Here at Achill OEC, we’re looking forward to welcoming the SEE Project partners to the Irish Exchange. Achill offers a unique area for cultural, biological and geographical studies, providing an important perspective for the practical outdoor sessions taking place during the week.”

The SEE Project offers an exciting opportunity to proactively work to mitigate and minimise potential impacts from outdoor sports and to make an important contribution in delivering on the European Green Deal commitment to environmental sustainability and responsibility in every aspect of our lives.

The SEE Project Partners include: