“The options we have adopted now will stay”
The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has influenced significantly the activities of all the FIM Commissions. In the “Commissions Update” series Commission Directors will tell how they have modified their working methods during the extraordinary times and how they foresee the future. In this article the Director of the FIM International Sustainability Commission (CID), Katia Juárez Dubón explains how CID has been able to overcome challenges caused by the pandemic.
Katia Juárez Dubón has been worried but resilient to see how the current pandemic has influenced so many people´s life, but at the same time she has kept herself busy working from her home in Andorra.
"I think all of humanity has been affected by this pandemic. In some way or another, we have witnessed a family member or a friend who has died, or in other cases, they have lost their job or business due to the economic slowdown. We have received no negative news from CID members and are relieved about this. In the professional field, I have always worked remotely. The workload increased at home since working from home and maintaining a four-person household required a little more effort and organisation, Katia Juárez Dubón says."
CID had many plans for this year, but in the end many campaigns were postponed for the future.
"What we have done is to prioritise and follow the guidelines of the FIM administration. We cut expenses, the projects planned for this year have been postponed or in some cases suspended. Five editions of the KISS program were postponed this year for the future editions. The supervision work carried by the CID members has also been postponed until further notice."
Katia believes that the pandemic has influenced so that the sustainability will play even bigger role in the future.
"We believe that by now, our organisers and participants of the sport have already integrated the philosophy of sustainability. I consider that in their return plans, it is as a fundamental pillar. FIM President Jorge Viegas mentioned this fact in the letter sent to the federations during World Environment Day celebrations. Right now, the most important thing is to return to sport with a resilient and sustainable vision."
Even if the coronavirus pandemic has influenced many aspects negatively, Katia Juárez Dubón sees the other side of the story as well.
"The pandemic has changed everything, but some things have been positive. We have already seen countless videos of the animals in freedom walking placidly through the big cities. We have seen drastic reductions in greenhouse gases, but the cost has been very high!"
"However, during the pandemic we have taken the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. I have been pleased to see the FIM staff looking for more sustainable alternatives, looking for platforms of interaction as well as organising virtual meetings that will definitely lower carbon dioxide. We believe that human contact, traditional gatherings, face-to-face networking are essential to promote volunteering and teamwork. However, I think that the options we have adopted during confinement will stay and will alleviate to some extent, the pressure on the planet. Resilience will be essential!"
The CID has used the past few months efficiently working remotely with several projects.
"We have launched two webinars with excellent results. We have supported the UN Environment entirely online for World Environment Day. We have had the time for revamping and review the environmental code and other administrative structures. The environmental ambassadors have been very active and contributing from their respective countries as well as our #wed campaigns and supporting #ridersathome. Another project that was born during the lockdown was the Ride Green Instagram. This project was an excellent way to keep in touch with our followers. Now we are working on a complete revamp of the Instagram account, and we will present a completely new graphic line."
"We have also supported our friends in Japan, producing awareness material for future activities. In the educative area, we supported the FIM Academy with the material for the creation of two online modules: Sustainability General Concept and The Environmental Code. In the framework of the World Environment Day, we supported UN Environment with a solid and a very well designed campaign that included: A Quiz regarding sustainability, ambassadors activation and a Webinar oriented to Biodiversity and motorsport that included four experts of well-known universities in Europe."
The CID director believes that some working methods used during the lockdown will stay also in the future.
"At the moment the Bureau meets online, and I think we can continue including this kind of session in between the face to face meetings. We believe this will contribute to boost the work. "
The main challenge for the CID will be to adapt the event organisers and public to the reality we face
"We have fought and achieved a significant reduction in the waste generated by our events and the management system, now we count with a new source of pollution that will be the biohazard material. We urge that our event organisers include in the standard practices a new one so that our spectators and paddock users have the proper places to deposit the new waste material. Another aspect is to raise awareness amongst the spectators about the respect of others by using masks and being considerate to the other spectators by following the hygiene rules."
In the future CID wants to finalise the pending projects and adapt the regulations to this new way of behaviour and hygiene articles.
"Additionally, the production of new articles must happen in a sustainable way; more water station will be needed in our events to allow the spectators to clean the hands, more plastic will be discarded etc. A "green" and resilient mentality will be necessary to adapt to the challenges of the future. We have plans to continue with face to face meeting, but also to enforce our work with more virtual meetings and more training for our stewards by supporting the FIM Academy. We have in mind to present a project draft to GA about creating the International week of the sustainable in motorcycling sport and other projects that are for now in the "ideas factory". In the end the most important is to come back in a safe, healthy, resilient, and sustainable way."
At the end of the edition of this note, we were notified that the Circuit of Misano will be continuing with KISS Misano this year. This will be a “virtual” event, without staff on the field, but based on raising awareness and sustainable messages. We are pleased that our organisers face the event in a sustainable way.