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Sport and Tourism industry, key sectors for the preservation of the Ocean and the coastline

From August 20 to 23, Surfrider Foundation Europe will organize Ocean Pavilion, 4 days of expert talks and workshops preceding the G7 Summit to promote ocean conservation during crucial diplomatic negotiations. This series of talks with representatives from the private and public sectors will focus on four central themes. Day 1 of Ocean Pavilion will discuss the industries of Sport and Tourism, and the sustainability challenges that they currently face.  

Two sectors that have a major role to play

The challenges of preserving the Ocean and its coastline are more than ever linked to those of tourism and the sports industry. These sectors of activity play a key role both in the impact of human activity on our oceans and in the solutions needed to address this common challenge. It is therefore essential that these actors convert their awareness into sustainable and responsible actions, particularly in their development strategies. During Ocean Pavilion Day 1, participants will define the context of the challenges they face in their respective industries and establish concrete methods to begin a sustainable transition. 

Sport gives a new impetus to sustainable development

The sports industry, and surfing in particular, has succeeded in raising environmental awareness among its consumers, who, as practitioners, are the first to witness the impact of human activity on their playground. Many high-level athletes have publicly advocated for increased ocean protection and commercial brands have too joined the movement. 

If the sport industry wants to be acknowledged as a pioneer in eco-responsible commitment, it must address the difficulties present in its various sectors, particularly in textiles. An industry wide sustainable transition will involve developing ranges of textile products and eco-designed equipment, but also requires continuous awareness building among its universe of practitioners. Outside of the ocean, a collective awareness that encompasses ski culture and all other forms of sport linked to nature is necessary. 

Sustainable tourism, how to deal with the explosion of the tourist culture?

Tourism, which is one of the key economic vehicles for many countries around the world, must be considered in conversations of sustainable transition. All users must be able to enjoy water quality that is not dangerous to their health. The effects of tourism can often lead to disruption and overuse of infrastructure (e.g. sewage treatment plants) designed to maintain water quality. In Europe, four of the five most popular tourist destinations are located on the coast, an instance representing the large responsibility that the Tourism industry has in contributing to coastal preservation.

In addition, overpopulation in seaside resorts during the summer seasons causes strong pressure on the marine environment in several forms: on consumption, increased pollution from waste, noise, atmospheric pollution, etc. While the stakes seem high, this offers the tourism sector many opportunities to act in favour of the environment.  

On the agenda for the day: The surf industry at the forefront of sustainable development in sport and the challenge of sustainable tourism. Personalities from civil society, science and politics will be invited to speak. Both conferences will be streamed via Surfrider Europe YouTube Live Stream. 

The Ocean Pavilon