Environmental Impact Statement

A statement of how the park environment, or visitors, may be affected by the event and what efforts will be made to mitigate that effect;

Minimal impact on other park visitors & users:

Minimal impact on the environment:

Orienteering relies fundamentally on being able to access wilderness terrain. Therefore issues of environmental impact have been subject to various studies and the International Orienteering Federations Environment Commission (web: http://orienteering.org/about-the-iof/commissions/environment-commission/) maintains a record of these studies and provides event organizers around the world with information regarding the environmental impact of the sport and best practises in planning and executing events to further reduce the impact. Of particular interest are two reports by Brian Henry Parker, Chairman of the IOF Environment Commission:

  1. Orienteering, A nature sport with low ecological impact (2010).

    WebURL: http://orienteering.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/IOF-ENV-007-Orienteering-a-nature-sport-with-low-ecological-impact.pdf

    Summary: A view expressed by some ecologists is that orienteering, by its off-track nature and often with large numbers of competitors, has the potential for damaging flora and fauna. This potential appears not to be realised in practice. In the many thousands of orienteering events that are held worldwide each year ecological incidents resulting in unacceptable damage are extremely rare, close to zero. This document gives reasons why this is so and tests the expectation that orienteering has low ecological impact against a summary of reported scientific studies.
  2. WebURL: http://orienteering.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/IOF-ENV-002-Review-of-research-into-the-ecological-impact-of-orienteering.pdf

    Summary (excerpt): Research has been conducted in the three main areas of environmental concern: the trampling of vegetation, the disturbance of large mammals and the disturbance of birds. Some studies are reported in refereed journals but most of the others are only available in documentation with very limited circulation. Those studies which have come to the notice of the IOF are critically reviewed and, for each of the three areas of concern, are used to test the hypothesis that orienteering does cause significant long-term ecological damage.

    The conclusion to be drawn from the general vegetation impact studies is that orienteering has low to very low impact with generally rapid recovery. With respect to sensitive vegetation, the sport takes precautionary measures and no evidence of significant long-term damage has been reported. The hypothesis is rejected.

    With respect to the disturbance of large mammals the sport takes precautionary action and no evidence of long-term detriment has been reported. The hypothesis is rejected.

In general these studies show that there is minimal impact on the environment. To give some of the highlights from the 2010 report, this is due to several factors including: