The International Canoe Federation and major partner Starboard SUP have announced details of a multi-year program that will reduce the environmental footprint of major paddling events. This exciting partnership will see Starboard supporting ICF events from 2021 to 2024, helping all ICF world disciplines to become climate neutral. The SUP world championships will set the benchmark for other events, striving to become 10 times climate positive. Other events in the program will aim to be climate neutral.
Starboard will be assessing every event in terms of the carbon dioxide (and equivalent) emissions from attendees traveling to and from each event, as well as all electricity emissions from the event. Once an event's carbon footprint has been determined, Starboard will work on ways to reduce and offset it using nature-based solutions, including by planting mangroves.
“Paddle sports are enjoyed by people all over the planet, who all get to see first-hand the damage being done to our environment,” Starboard founder, Svein Rasmussen, said. “At Starboard we are absolutely committed to reducing the impact major sporting events are having on the environment, and we know we have the support of the passionate paddling community. We are pleased the International Canoe Federation shares our vision for the future, and we look forward to working together to make the planet healthier.”
The partnership will be launched at this month’s ICF canoe ocean racing world championships in Lanzarote, Spain. The ICF SUP world championships in Hungary in September will be the first event which will strive to be 10 times climate positive.
2021 ICF SUP Championships venue in Hungary. | Photo: Shutterstock
Mangroves are great CO2 absorbers, absorbing 1 tonne of CO2 within the first 20 years of their life. Mangroves also help biodiversity flourish within and surrounding the planted area.
Starboard plant their mangroves with Worldview International Foundation (WIF), based in Myanmar, reforesting an area where mangrove trees once flourished but due to farming or fuel needs, have been in rapid decline. WIF has created projects that support the local communities to make money through planting and caring for mangroves, while also giving them alternative ways to live without cutting down mangrove trees.
“We are very excited to put into action a plan that will underline our commitment to reducing the impact of our events on the environment,” ICF marketing manager, Catherine Wieser, said. “Starboard has a strong history in this area, and we are impressed by its commitment to the cause. Together we will work on not just presenting great paddling competitions, but also making the planet healthier.”
More information about how Starboard’s mangrove project helps the environment can be found here.
About International Canoe Federation
The International Canoe Federation is responsible for the global sport of canoeing and has 167 affiliated National Associations and 13 disciplines - Sprint, Slalom, Paracanoe, Wildwater, Marathon, Canoe Polo, Freestyle, Ocean Racing, Dragon Boat, SUP, Rafting, WaveSki and Canoe Sailing. Canoeing has two Olympic disciplines, with sprint introduced at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and slalom at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games; Canoeing also made its debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with Paracanoe. Find out more about the International Canoe Federation at canoeicf.com