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The activities carried out through the project allowed the creation of innovative and European environmental education tools based on outdoor aquatic practices (such as rafting and kayaking) and started a transnational communication and awareness path on the importance of the water resource.
Between january 2019 and december 2021, the project carried out the following activities:
Creation of Local River Groups
Each pilot area created a Local River Group composed by local stakeholders like: outdoor sport industry representatives, local administrations, sport association, environmental associations, youth associations, local DMO's…
During the Local River Group meetings, the partners presented and analyzed the project activities, organized documentary screenings and debates about local and global water issues, the importance of "clean" outdoor practices and the future of rivers.
This activity allowed the creation of new local connections, for example between the sports industry and environmental stakeholders.
Specific trainings on environmental issues dedicated to local rafting and kayak guides
Each pilot area (Croatia, Slovenia and Italy) developed specific training for rafting and canoe-Kayak guides. This activity helped to increase the numbers of qualified professionals in the water sport sector aware about water local issues and their connections with outdoor water sports. Guides that followed the training sessions became the first LOCAL RIVER AMBASSADORS of Be Water project!
Thanks to the training courses, no. 46 "Ambassadors of the Rivers" have been trained: canoe, kayak and rafting guides trained on the main naturalistic characteristics of rivers, on local biodiversity, on the challenges related to water resources, on the potential impact of human action on rivers and on the need to safeguard nature.
Thanks to the training, materials have also been developed (texts, videos , photos, ...) and used to create the DIDACTIVE TOOLKIT of the Be Water project.
Activity testing and citizen involvement
The Be Water project activities were carried out over the three-year period 2019-2021. The project has in fact had two duration extensions due to the complications related to the emergency from Covid 19 and ended in December 2021.
Activity testing and citizen involvement: various environmental education activities "through outdoor water sports" have been created and tested. Thanks to the different types of rivers and partners involved, it was possible to involve different targets (residents, tourists, young people and children) and carry out complementary environmental education activities. These outdoor educational activities are now part of the offer of the territories involved in Italy, Croatia and Slovenia.
As said, three different types of "educational packages" were created and tested. One aimed at tourists and sportsmen looking for "adrenaline" (in Italy), one aimed at local residents and adolescents (in Croatia), one aimed at schools (in Slovenia). These activities have made it possible to involve residents, tourists and schools in outdoor sports activities with the aim of environmental education, thus achieving a double objective: bring people closer to outdoor sports but also and, above all, teaching them how to respect the natural environment and raising awareness of the challenges related to environmental sustainability.
Following the test activities, the project partners analyzed the activities and the degree of satisfaction reported by both the local Ambassadors and the final participants was very high. The possibility of using outdoor activities on the river (educational activities, rafting, canoeing or kayaking, water games, ...) as a means to address environmental issues and raise awareness among practitioners on the local and international challenges of rivers has proved to be very appreciated and useful. The project partners therefore decided to proceed with the activities thus divided by target also during the summer of 2020, and, following the extension of the project for Covid 19, during the summer of 2021.
You want to develop similar activities in your country/area/region in order to involve sportsmen, residents, young people and schools?
- You can download the Be Water project toolkit: https://bewatertoolkit.tumblr.com
- You can contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
DidActive ToolKit creation
Thanks to the BE WATER project, a "DidActive Toolkit" was created.
It is a kit with videos, infographics and texts made to bring rafting, canoeing and kayaking guides (as well as water sports enthusiasts) closer to river ecology and be more aware of local and international issues on the "use of water".
The DidActive Toolkit is an e-publication of 67 pages with six chapter:
- Water: a common good;
- Water: characteristics and chemical properties;
- Basics of river ecology;
- Beyond adrenaline: sports for environmental awareness;
- Be Water project: the storytelling approach;
- Pilota area description.
The "DidActive Toolkit" of the Be Water project can be downloaded here: https://bewatertoolkit.tumblr.com
The international activities of study visits and exchanges were fundamental elements to complete the "environmental" training of the local "River Ambassadors" but also useful for partners and stakeholders in order to discover complementary ways of using outdoor sports as a means of environmental education.
The final conference took place in Malè in December 2021. The conference was an opportunity to present the DidActive Toolkit and share the results reached by Be Water project, the conference was also an opportunity to organize an exchange with another European project with objectives similar to those of the Be Water project, the "Life Sic2Sic" project, and for a debate on the potential role of outdoor activities as a means of environmental awareness involving local politicians, representatives of natural parks, directors of Destination Management Organization, representatives of environmental associations. In the second part of the conference a documentary called "The Clean Approach", on the same issues was screened and a debate was organized.
Here the registration of the conference: https://fb.watch/bMdG_YFRgFHere you can download the Be Water project social and environmental report