The "BE WATER" project, co-financed by the European Union, has officially started in Slunj: it aims to enhance and “use” aquatic outdoor sports as a means of environmental education and awareness.
The kickoff of the project co-financed by the Erasmus + program has just been held in Slunj, Croatia, along the Korana River. The meeting was attended by representatives of the four project partners from Comunità della Val di Sole (Italy), the Kajak Kanu klub ’’Rastocki mlinari’’ (Croatia), the Rafting Club “Gimpex Straza” (Slovenia) and F.I.Raft (Italian Rafting Federation).
The activities carried out through the project will allow the creation of innovative and European environmental education tools based on outdoor aquatic practices (such as rafting and kayaking) and to start a transnational communication and awareness path on the importance of the water resource.
Project idea is born by the match of two transnational and common trends that need a common and innovative answer: on one side there is the outdoor sports practices in constant growth. With the increasing of outdoor sport practice popularity, mountains, rivers and other natural areas are under growing stress: according to the partners of the project, it’s is important to support this trend and bring citizen to practice open-air activities but at the same time it is essential to minimize the impact of outdoor sport activities on the wilderness, protected areas, rivers and to develop outdoor sport activities that include awareness on environmental protection. On the other side there is the specific water issue: waters sports and theirs industries need to be aware of - and develop more resilient offer to - the water crisis at local and international level (lost of glaciers, pollution, …) not only for environmental sustainability but also for economical and social issues.
Indeed, in order to guarantee environmental sustainability and open-air sport growth there is a need to develop alternative educational and sensibilisation processes and tools able to involve and sensitize citizens.
The first action that will be developed by the partnership will be the training of some "ambassadors" of the rivers. Through training courses dedicated to rafting, canoeing and kayaking guides, the project will contribute to improving the knowledge of the peculiarities and problems related to water at local and global level.