The 6th meeting of the European Forum for Golf and Environment take place at Ljunghusens Golf Club in southern Sweden. The Forum comprises representatives of all of Europe’s leading golf organisations, members of technical institutes, and representatives from six national golf federations. The Danish Golf Union, and the useful EU interlocutor Golfeuropa were also present during the two day event.
Speaking at the meeting, Maria Strandberg of the Swedish Golf Federation and chair of the Forum said, “One of the strengths of the Forum is that we have such a wonderful cross section of organisations involved, and yet everyone speaks very openly about their own or their organisations‘ opinions. We set agendas which challenge us to address the key environmental issues affecting golf, and plan and discuss projects which deliver what the sector needs.
“At this meeting, a lot of discussion focussed on the development of the Environmental Resource Centre and the environmental certification programme. These are big tasks, but they are what the industry needs.”
Remarking on his first experience of the meetings, Jerry Knox from the Centre for Water Science at Cranfield University added, “This was a very useful meeting, and encouraging to see that there is at last a really dedicated commitment to linking environmental sustainability with golf. I think the timing is very apposite; as we can foresee some potential flashpoints in the near future – particularly with rising concerns regarding water and energy efficiency and the longer term impacts of climate change. EU environmental legislation is likely to impact first and we can see that is already happening, and this will gather momentum. The golf industry really needs to get ‘out the firing line’ which it now has the potential to do, rather than being the easy target as it has in the past.”
Jonathan Smith of GEE said, “We have had a very productive two days of workshops and meetings. We have touched on a wide range of environmental issues, from turfgrass management to carbon footprinting, to discussion over the application of One Planet Living principles in golf.
“We are showing progress on practical projects which we believe will assist European golf in credibly addressing environmental issues, and in being seen to address environmental issues. I would like to thank all the participating organizations and individuals, the Swedish Golf Federation for their support, and also Stig Persson at Ljunghusen Golf Club for their fantastic hospitality and meeting facilities. We also thank Saab for providing the use of their Bio-fuel vehicles for transporting delegates.”
The meeting was supported by Ransomes Jacobsen.
Golf Environment Europe www.golfenvironmenteurope.org