Sustainability and Environmental Education in outdoor sports

About the project – in a nutshell

The SEE project (Sustainability and Environmental Education in outdoor sports) aims to provide sound pedagogical methodologies that will increase the competences in sustainability and environmental education of multipliers in the field of outdoor sport and ensure that the impacts of such activities are minimised and mitigated.


Outdoor sports have a great potential to engage and connect people with the environment. But there is a recognition that if participation continues to grow and more people access natural and protected areas – it is imperative that they understand how to mitigate and minimise any impacts. Failure to do so could result in restrictions or exclusion and the benefits that can be accrued through outdoor sports would not be realised.

Whilst many traditional sports and activities use a dedicated pitch or facility, outdoor sports rely on the use of land, water or even air that may be owned and managed by a third party for very different priorities (including nature protection). Therefore, it is even more important than in indoor or traditional sports that outdoor sportspeople behave responsibly and sustainably to avoid problems and ensure access to the natural area.

During the pandemic, even more people have been attracted by the great outdoors. To guarantee good education and training of such outdoor novices we need to have a co-ordinated approach to outdoor education across Europe to protect the environment for future generations.

Work plan

The SEE Project will promote education for sustainable development in and through sport with special focus on skills development for outdoor sports professionals such as outdoor sports trainers, guides, or instructors.

The following information provides the detail as to how this will happen:

  • The SEE project will gain a greater understanding into the challenges and issues that outdoor sports can create or must deal with when using natural or protected areas. This understanding will be essential to inform the pedagogical processes developed.
  • The SEE project will identify good practices of sustainability and environmental education in leadership training across the partner countries, but also on a broader European context and from a global perspective.
  • Based on the state-of-the-art in leadership training and the compendium of good practice from the exchange programme, the partners will develop further pedagogical methods to fill the gaps identified, face actual challenges and provide highly innovative methods to motivate outdoor sports enthusiasts for responsible behaviour. This toolkit is focused on helping outdoor professionals like sports leaders, guides and instructors who are often at the forefront of introducing new participants to outdoor sports and natural or protected areas, to include environmental education in their business of guiding or leading outdoor groups. It will therefore increase the competences of multipliers in the field of outdoor sport. By this, the toolkit will not only benefit the education system but also have a long-term multiplier effect by training later group leaders.
  • The developed educational tools will be implemented in a series of case studies to test the methodology and to showcase how to (better) implement sustainability and environmental education in the curricula.
  • Within training courses and multiplier events to promote and share the toolkit, important stakeholders within outdoor sport and the educational system will be trained with the methodology and act as further multipliers in the future. Furthermore, the developed toolkit will be shared within the partnership and connected groups and promoted to a broad range of relevant stakeholders in European outdoor sports.

The project will also raise awareness on the importance of sustainability and environmental education and promote ethical behaviours and codes of conduct among sports people.


The partnership involves environmental protection and management organisation as well as outdoor sport environmental training agencies, academics, national policy makers and training establishments for leaders, practitioners and finally yet importantly, European and international outdoor sports Network organisations.

  • EUROPARC Federation
  • Leave no trace (Ireland)
  • National Institute for Physical Education in Catalonia (Spain)
  • Pôle Ressources National Sports de Nature (CREPS Rhone Alpes) (France)
  • Sport Northern Ireland (Great Britain)
  • Surf Clube de Viana (Portugal)
  • Planinarski Klub TARA (Serbia)
  • Folkungaland (Sweden)
  • International Mountain Biking Association Europe (IMBA)
  • European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS)

Time Horizon

Project start was 1st January of 2021 with a project duration of 3 years.



Barbara Eigenschenk and Andreas Thomann