This Friday, 5th June is World Environment Day, which provides the perfect opportunity to formally share the newly-updated Mainau Manifesto, which was approved by the FIS Council at its last meeting and has been forwarded onto the FIS Congress to be formally adopted.
The “Care of the Mountain Population” Forum took place on the Island of Mainau (GER) from 20th - 22nd November 2019, dedicated to sustainability and environment activities in relation to mountain resorts.
After its successful conclusion, a FIS Working Group comprising Eduardo Valenzuela, Peter Schröcksnadel and Athletes’ Commission Representative Hannah Kearney, coordinated by FIS Communications Director Jenny Wiedeke, with input from the scientific expert representatives Professor Hans Peter Schmid and Erwin Lauterwasser, was tasked with updating the Mainau Manifesto.
2020 FIS Mainau Manifesto
Sharing the Benefits of Snow Sports with Future Generations
In 1994, the first FIS Mainau Manifesto was unanimously approved by the FIS Congress. This was a pioneering commitment to the responsibility of snow sports towards nature and sustainability. The Manifesto was motivated by the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. Since then, FIS has implemented an environmental policy for its activities. In 2019, FIS joined the United Nations “Sports for Climate Action Framework”. The below 2020 FIS Manifesto builds on the 1994 Manifesto, summarises and refers to the findings presented at the Fourth Mainau Forum in November 2019, and embraces the current UN Framework. It is inspired by the recognition that global climate change effects on mountain regions and snow sports are essential factors to consider for the future developments of snow sports.
Skiing and snowboarding are enjoyed by millions of people throughout the world. Winter sports promote social integration, contribute greatly to quality of life, bring joy and fun in winter and foster values such as performance, tolerance, fairness and team spirit. As its Vision and Mission, FIS and its 130 National Associations are committed to the global promotion and development of recreational and competitive skiing and snowboarding.
Despite the fact that snow sports are rooted in nature appreciation and are greatly popular, they, like many other human activities, depend on the use of natural resources. Snow sports contribute to global warming by their carbon footprint. Due to their nature as outdoor activities, snow sports are more visibly affected by climate change than other sports.
To help ensure that the FIS Vision and Mission can continue to be carried out for the benefit of both present and future generations of skiers and snowboarders, FIS fully commits to the following articles of this Manifesto:
1) Reduce the overall environmental and climate impact of FIS activities
FIS (and, by extension, its member associations) will develop a strategy to achieve climate neutrality for their own organisation and their events by 2030. FIS will work with international experts to generate a Climate Action Guidelines document, aiming at making snow sports climate neutral and sustainable. FIS will actively advocate for the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions through legislative and regulatory measures in all its member countries.
2) Educate for climate action
FIS will provide a forum for snow sports organisations to understand climate change issues in a global and regionally relevant context. FIS will collaborate with snow and climate experts and stakeholders of snow sports, to integrate expertise and experience into their strategy. FIS engages in promoting the education of skiers and snowboarders of all ages worldwide about the dependence of winter sports on natural ecosystems, the potential impacts of climate change on their winter recreation experience, and how they can reduce their carbon footprint. In this endeavour, FIS will collaborate with and support educational programmes of its member associations.
3) Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
FIS will work with national and regional snow sports associations and snow sports event organisers to promote sustainability. FIS will pursue sustainable procurement policies and motivate suppliers to develop more environmentally friendly products, including renewable energy-based transportation, as transportation is one of the main greenhouse gas emission sources in snow sports.
For international competitions, FIS will establish guidelines that support local facility operators and competition organisers to meet the requirements set by FIS for environmental and climate protection.
4) Advocate for sustainability and climate action through communication
FIS will consistently and continuously promote public awareness of sustainability and climate change impacts on snow sports and mountain regions through all channels of communication available.
In all its activities, FIS will take care to align its own practice of environmental and climate protection with its communication messages.
5) Anchoring sustainability and climate neutrality in the FIS governance
To act on the principles and objectives outlined in this Manifesto, FIS will build a permanent independent working structure, aligned with the requirements of best-practice management objectives and anchored in the Council. FIS encourages its member associations to adopt and commit to at least the same goals and measures that are stated in this Manifesto.
The core principles listed in the FIS Vision and Mission Statement are the
motivation in all FIS endeavours and include:
- to act responsibly and respectfully
- to be professional
- to cooperate with others
- to apply ethical values
- to communicate clearly and frequently
- to look to the future
FIS will adhere to these core values as it implements this Manifesto, ensuring that the future of snow sports and the mountain communities can continue to thrive while facing the challenges of environmental and climate change.”