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World Sailing sustainability initiatives will “empower new generation” at 2023 Youth Sailing Worlds

by World Sailing 7 Dec 2023 07:01 PST 8-16 December 2023
World Sailing sustainability initiatives will “empower new generation” at 2023 Youth Sailing Worlds © World Sailing

World Sailing has joined forces with the Brazilian sailing federation, CBVela, to implement sustainability initiatives in Brazil which will put the 2023 Youth Sailing World Championships on course to be a carbon neutral event.

The initiatives will have a positive long-term impact on the environment, show how sailing can draw attention to greater issues facing coastal communities, and reinforce World Sailing's commitment to creating a legacy of positive environmental and social change.

While more than 400 young sailors from around the world take to the South Atlantic waters of Búzios, Brazil next week, vital work behind the scenes will help to restore the natural habitat and create a greener, cleaner future for the host nation.

The initiatives include:

  • Planting at least one a tree for each of the over 400 participants in the event as part of a reforestation project in São Paolo.
  • Partnering with a litter collection app with a target of collecting thousands of items of litter, creating insights on the problem.
  • A "Follow the Wind, Protect the Sea" Guide provided to every participant aimed at encouraging action on sustainability.

Alexandra Rickham, World Sailing Head of Sustainability, said: "We know that many of the participants at the Youth Sailing World Championships will go on to forge careers at the very top of the sport.

"Sailing has rightly earned a reputation as a leading sport on this topic and, by making sustainability a key part of 2023 Youth Sailing World Championships, World Sailing and CBVela are empowering a new generation of sailing role models who can lead the way in protecting our environment."

CBVela, in partnership with the Brazilian Institute of Defence of Nature (IBDN), and supported by World Sailing, will offset event emissions by planting at least one tree per athlete at the championships as part of the reforestation initiative at the Tietê Ecological Park in São Paulo.

The project recovers degraded areas and directly contributes to 11 of the 17 United Nations' Strategic Development Goals, as well as the pillars of World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030.

Established in 2008 and managed by the Brazilian Institute of Defence of Nature (IBDN), the Ecological Park covers 2 million sqm of forested area and is currently home to more than 350,000 trees native to the Atlantic Forest through 456 carbon neutralisation projects. The goal is to reach 500,000 by working with companies, public sector organisations and events in Brazil.

For the 2023 Youth Sailing World Championship, World Sailing will support CBVela to plant over 400 native trees in an area of the park to be known as Bosque De Vela, or 'Sailing Forest' in English. This will result in the absorption of at least 3.78 tCO2e (tons of carbon equivalent) per tree, and a total of at least 1576.26 tCO2 absorbed from the Sailing Forest over the lifespan of the trees. The project will put the 2023 Youth Sailing World Championships on course to be certified a carbon neutral event by IBDN.

Sustainability at the Youth Sailing World Championships will also be supported by a series of other projects within the race village and boat park sites. The championships is integrated into the Rio 2030 Agenda, which in partnership with the State Government of Rio de Janeiro, brings together initiatives that contribute to achieving the SDGs.

World Sailing has partnered with Planet Patrol, a non-profit movement and crowd sourcing app combining community action and disruptive technology to tackle wider issues affecting freshwater environments.

Planet Patrol allows community scientists to submit data which shapes the campaign and drives government action on pollution by identifying brands and types of litter, logging trends and patterns in order to inform solutions. To date, almost half a million pieces of litter have been recorded in the app across 113 countries.

The goal is to collect a minimum of 8000 pieces of litter during the week-long event, the equivalent of 20 pieces per athlete, to help make the local environment cleaner and healthier for native flora and fauna.

On-site recycling will also be offered for visiting athletes, coaches, officials and media and particpants will be issued with a "Follow the Wind, Protect the Sea" Guide. This will encourage athletes to engage with all aspects of recycling and sustainability, focusing on addressing the impact caused to the environment.

To find out more about Planet Patrol, visit www.planetpatrol.com, search @onPlanetPatrol on social media or download the app for Apple or Android.

Full coverage of the 2023 Youth Sailing World Championships is available through World Sailing's dedicated event website.

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