In just 25 days, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) and its Biathlon Climate Challenge has reached its goal of 100,000 trees to be planted with fans covering an accumulative distance of 618,595 km and burning a total of 32,369,652 calories. The biggest share came from the team led by German biathlete Franziska Preuss contributing about 25,000 trees. The most active fans gathered in the team of Canadian biathlete Jules Burnotte with a contribution of 23 trees per team member.
IBU President Olle Dahlin said:
“We have a clear winner of the Biathlon Climate Challenge: Mother Nature! I would like to thank and congratulate all the fans all over the world who took part in the first ever Biathlon Climate Challenge. Our biathletes have acted as great team leaders inspiring their fans and colleagues not only to make a meaningful contribution to supporting the restoration of the environment, but also to keep active, stay connected and have fun. In the future, IBU will continue the work to enhance awareness and promote climate action among its stakeholders, in particular the global fans who truly rose to the challenge in the last three weeks.”
Supported by the Challenge, Eden Reforestation Projects will plant the trees in their Mangrove reforestation project in Madagascar, one of their key work locations. Eden’s mission is to provide fair wage employment to impoverished villagers as agents of global forest restoration. Eden hires locals to both plant and guard the forests and thus promotes long-term ownership of the reforestation projects in their community. The IBU will keep the biathlon family and public informed about the progress made.
The Biathlon Climate Challenge was launched as part of the IBU’s Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030 which commits the IBU to addressing sustainability in five different areas: climate, sport, people, venue and event, communication and awareness. The IBU’s climate goal is to reduce emissions aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Accord and to be climate neutral as a sport latest by 2030.