The R&A, the USGA and the Golf Environment Organization joined forces to host a workshop during the BirdLife International World Congress.
BirdLife International is one of the world’s most respected conservation organisations, operating in over 100 countries through its network of national partners. Representatives from BirdLife Partners gathered in Ottawa, Canada on June 18 to hear how golf is working to promote wildlife conservation as part of its sustainability programme, with the International Golf Federation’s Statement on Sustainability committing it and its 153 members to recognise sustainability as a core priority. Delegates were shown how the game is taking its environmental responsibility seriously through research, guidance, support, setting standards, practitioner education, communications and advocacy.
A wide-ranging discussion on golf and the environment following, but the key issue for those attending was the impact of new golf developments. Examples were cited of development projects that included golf courses which harmed sensitive habitats and impacted on scarce water resources. There was agreement that the problem often lies in a lack of a strategic planning approach and that all stakeholders should be able to participate in such an approach from an early stage.
A report on the workshop by Caroline Jacobsson, Head of Communications and Marketing at BirdLife Europe, is available on the BirdLife website.