|Posted on February 3, 2017 at 1:45 AM|
SAIEH NATIONAL CONFERENCE, Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West (31 January 2017)
PRESENTER: Marius Matthee (President: Environmental Panel - Motorsport South Africa)
SUMMARY OF PRESENTATION
Environmental education is a fundamental instrument in raising environmental awareness among motor sports role-players in South Africa.
Following the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prompted Sports Governing Bodies, like Motorsport South Africa (MSA), to integrate environmental sustainability principles into their operations. Sport in general generates considerable interest and publicity. Even though they represent only a certain proportion of the world’s population, all sports organisations carry a special responsibility insofar as environmental sustainability is concerned.
Motorsport is occasionally perceived as a so-called “spoil-sport” and regarded as not being committed to environmental best practices. Together with its stakeholders, MSA is however committed to promote sustainable development and respect for our natural environment.
Motorsport South Africa has a specialist Environmental Panel who is responsible for the implementation of the MSA’s Environmental Policy. The panel also provides the necessary leadership and guidance to ensure that all motorsport disciplines have a reduced impact on the environment, promotes environmental awareness, through various initiatives and projects, and is responsible for the continuous development and implementation of an environmental educational programme. The latter also includes the development of appropriate environmental educational material and the hosting of training seminars.
The training and appointment of Environmental Officers remains a key factor to ensure that competent and informed individuals are appointed at events. It is mandatory to appoint an Environmental Officer at every motorsport event who monitors compliance with the MSA Environmental Code, which was specifically developed to ensure enviro compliance and control at all MSA sanctioned events. The Environmental Code consists of environmental regulations, protocols and responsibilities for all the sport’s role-players.
Education, in itself, is one of the most powerful instruments we have to influence the behaviour of the motor sports community. Sport in general can play a very important role as an environmental educator, since people are more likely to follow the examples set by individuals or organisations, they can associate with. We must use the popularity of sports as a platform to create awareness for environmental issues. Through education, and the popularity of sport, we can empower, inspire and create opportunities to produce leaders for environmental sustainability.
Motorsport South Africa commissioned a very informative video, THE ENVIRONMENTAL RACE – MOTORSPORT’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE. It deals with environmental threats associated with motor sports, as well as mitigation and control measures and can be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCmo-PUH-i8
Also consult the ENVIRONMENTAL link on the MSA website for copies of their environmental educational material: www.motorsport.co.za
Picture Caption: Marius Matthee (President – MSA Environment Panel) presenting a copy of the MSA Environmental Guide to the President of the South African Institute of Environmental Health, Mr. Selva Mudaly, at the SAIEH’s National Conference in Cape Town.