Report by Riikka Vilkuna (Finland)
The FAI General Conference accepted an environmental policy statement in 1997. It states that the FAI will publish environmental Codes of Conduct for different air sport disciplines. Codes of Conduct cover e.g. considerate flying, flying site layout and operational procedures, landscaping and habitat and Nature Conservation.
Environmental Commission has written Environmental Codes of Conduct which has two parts: the first part is common to all, the second part specific advice to different air sports. The Air Sport Commissions (ASCs) were asked to review the draft. The hang gliding and paragliding part was reviewed and all who commented the draft before CIVL Plenary 1999 considered it a good document.
As it is now, hang gliding and paragliding part of the Code of Conduct concentrates on producing as little noise as possible, saving energy, choosing the operating areas carefully so that environment is not disturbed. Codes of Conduct encourage environmentally sensitive behaviour.
The FAI Environmental Commission had a meeting January 28th-29th 2000. I’ve been in touch with Chris Nicholas, the President of the Commission, and he summarizes the meeting:
the Codes of Conduct have been reviewed by ASC’s (no changes were requested).
FAI would like all ASCs to ensure that their specific codes of conduct are implemented by its member organisations, each ASC may decide how they want to do this.
The Environmental Commission has been working on a world-wide database to collect information on impact of flying on nature, this information will be available via the FAI web site.
Commission will concentrate on noise measurement methods & standards.
Commission is building contacts to other organisations, such as the World Wildlife Fund.
Questions to hang gliding & paragliding associations:
How many hang gliding/paragliding associations have an environment plan of any kind?
How do associations deal with environmental matters when i.e. competitions are arranged?
Are there any environmental projects going on?
What should/could be done within the CIVL:
We should not get too bureaucratic about this.
We should include environmental issues to CIVL Long Term Plan and Guidelines for Organisers. (It would be difficult to try to demand that NACs take measures, but we can recommend them and question how these things are taken care of when, for example, we evaluate bids. Control would need experts.).
Any environmental studies concerning hang gliding and paragliding should be added to Environmental Commission’s database.
NACs should check how they operate in relation to the Codes of Conduct. I could collect information.