In a variety of different ways, sports and sports events can come into conflict with the goals of nature and landscape conservation. Sports require space – for competition venues such as cross-country skiing tracks, mountain bike trails, ski jumps or sports halls. But sports events also require space for traffic and parking, the media, exhibition and side-event space as well as accommodation. Nature may be affected by the sport itself, such as along tracks and routes, as well as by the spectators, such as in areas around sports venues.
Soil sealing, damage to the vegetation and soil, interference with the water balance, disturbances of protected species – all this can create conflicts which may spark a public debate. Therefore, the primary goal must always be kept in mind: cooperation, not confrontation! A continuous dialogue between the various interest groups can prevent conflicts between “users” and “protectors” of the environment.
And when conflicts around nature conservation are recognized and described early on, solutions based on alternative locations, different time periods or targeted protection measures can often be put into place. Use an appropriate monitoring system to evaluate any effects on flora and fauna before, during and after the event.