ISF Environmental Rules & Guide Lines

The spectacular environment at Comapedrosa, Andorra. ©iancorless.com

Since the foundation of the ISF in 2008, specific rules and guidelines were included relative to the protection of the environment.

Basic regulations are developed in collaboration with the Italian Ecosport Environment Association of “Manuale Sport per l’ambiente” and will serve as a basis for other disciplines operating in the mountain and protect areas.

Current ISF Rules – Environmental Regulations (Extract)

ECOLOGY ISSUES. Race organizers must take into account ecological issues before, during and after the race. Reference may be made to the ISF Environment Commission’s guidelines.

5.3 COURSE MARKING – The organizers must guarantee basic signage (flags or other signage, preferably fluorescent) for the safety of the competitors. It should be made of biodegradable material and removed immediately after the closure of the competition.
5.3.1      In the event of a clearly defined course without flags or other signage, safety measures and special check points must be adopted by the organisers. These points must be explained prior to the event at a specific briefing.

5.22 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES – The organizers must take all necessary measures to avoid designing routes that cross areas with sensitive ecosystems, ensure the rapid removal of race marking at the end of the race, rapid removal of all waste material discarded by spectators and participants and that only natural biodegradable products are used for marking, etc..

7.11.1 A penalty of from three minutes to disqualification will be applied for:
a) Throwing of trash outside the check point areas (100m +/-)

ISF Environmental Guide Lines

Rules finalized for voluntary certification in the sport events to share with:
a) outdoor sports international federations and UIAA
b) organizers of international events and multi-sport races, mountain and protected areas

Sports federations, associations and organizations must observe, circulate and promote the following points during the events and at the briefing:

  1. To Invite the athletes (or users) before and during the race to adopt an ecological behavior such as:
    – To use the public transport to reach the start line or to adopt “car pooling /car – sharing”
    – The careful management of their trash and to respect the flora and fauna.
  2. Assess with local experts and ecological guides the maximum load of car parks and pathways, the staggering of the departures or to place a limit of members.
  3. Identify areas for car parks in the city areas and / or organize special shuttles for access to departure and finish area.
  4. Undertaking to use the resources that are not harmful to the environment, to promote ecological gifts and prizes in natural materials.
  5. To study and to implement ways to minimize the use of plastic glasses and plates, to promote the use of carton plates and the use of a personal glass, recyclable accessories or the partial self-sufficiency on the race course (personal water and food); to select the collection of biodegradable waste, plastic and recyclable.
  6. To mark the route with an low visual and environmental impact. Give priority to biodegradable spray and signage. Promote the use of GPS for safety and to limit the use of invasive signals on the course.
  7. To organize aid-stations with trash containers and to punish with penalty or the disqualification the athletes that throw trash, paper towels or other items outside the indicated areas.
  8. To ensure the monitoring of the route after the race, to remove the signs and avoid the temporary storage of waste. To inform the athletes on the correct use of path and to punish by penalty or disqualification those who cut the track points that may damage the soil.
  9. To promote initiatives to clean and restore the paths through the organization of outdoor sporting events, to be shared with government agencies and individuals linked to the area, highlighting the positive effects of mountain sports.
  10. To encourage the attendance and enjoyment of the recreational areas noting that the environment is an ecosystem to be protected with the correct access to natural areas too, through the positive role played by the individual environmental control and on the activities of the other users.
  11. To encourage the local economic activities in the organization of events on the territory and services, to promote overnight accommodation and catering in the area, boosting the event as an antidote to the abandonment and the uncontrolled speculation.
  12. To give priority to the transportation on foot of equipment and staff in places inaccessible to cars, transporting materials physically and minimize transportation by jeep and helicopter.
  13. To limit the use of the helicopter and other aircraft during the race even in areas where it is allowed without limitation, to set time limits and timetables on flight duration (one hour max) or limited to emergency operations.
  14. To organize the start/finish areas and intermediate aid stations with light materials, taking care to limit their impact, including visual and sound equipment, to set the limits of the max volume of speakers or other apparatus and musical instruments.
  15. To supply chemical toilets and fire protection equipment in natural areas that are not equipped and to make arrangements for behavioral hygiene and to handle any medical emergencies along the way.
  16. To establish procedures to protect the environment in case of the necessity to carry out bodily functions by indicating the location (downstream of the path, at least 2 metres away from springs or surface water, etc).
  17. Zero Impact – There is no human activity with “zero” impact, but it is possible to minimize this and establish correct human behavior with respect to nature by following the indications above. In addition, many solutions of “environmental compensation” should be sought for the production of CO2 generated by the event.

Read the in-depth 80-page study carried out by our Spanish member, FEDME, on racing events in the mountains, their impact on the environment and how this can be mitigated. Share it. It touches all of us, Federation, members, race organisers and participants.

Download the study here.