Sunday, 23 October 2011

The first ever International Symposium on the Protection of Waves

The international conference on Wave Protection takes place in two of the most beautiful destinations on the planet: Biarritz, France and San Sebastian-Donostia.

This will be a meeting of the minds to discuss how to protect surfing coastlines worldwide from the effects of climate changeand the impacts of increasing populations flocking to the coast.

What Is The Value Of Waves?

Various initiatives for the preservation of the waves are conducted internationally. Therefore NGOs Surfers Against Sewage, Surfrider Foundation, Save the Waves Coalition, Salvem O Surf, with scientific support of Dr Tony Butt, organize a major international conference on the recognition of the value of the waves and their protection in the world.

While the coasts are attracting more and more people and territories seek to protect against the effects of climatic disorder, conservation of surfing waves is becoming a major issue on many coastlines.

The genesis of the waves comes from the alignment of multiple environmental factors, themselves relatively uncertain. This feature is responsible for vulnerability to any change in the environment that characterizes the waves.

This is why many surf spots have now been altered. Some even disappeared. There are several types of threats that can cause the disappearance of a wave.

Against this backdrop, the challenge for the surfing community is to highlight the fact that the presence of a wave exceeds the notion of pleasure it can bring to surfers. The objective is to characterize what are the economic, social and environmental values of a surf zone to a coastal area.

1. How Do You Define The Value of a Wave, and by Extension, of Nature?
2. What Are the Threats Facing the Waves?
3. Which Strategies Can Be Put into Place to Protect them?

These three questions will be at the centre of the conferences that take place on the two days.

To answer them, Surfers Against Sewage from the United Kingdom, Save the Waves Coalition based in Northern California, WiLDCOAST from Mexico,

Surfbreak Protection Society coming from New Zealand,
National Surfing Reserves from Australia, Portugal'sSalvem O Surf (…) and of course branches of the international Surfrider network (Australia, Argentina, Europe, Japan, Morocco, United States…) will all come together.

Representatives of the political and scientific worlds, joined by engineers specializing in coastal development, will discuss the issues surrounding waves within their respective areas of expertise.

Through a series of lectures and roundtable discussions, during which various experts will attempt to answer these questions, this event is the first major opportunity to offer the public an international panorama of reflections made in this area. This event will be considered as a success if:

We manage to use this exchange as a platform to discuss our larger goals as a global community of activists dedicated to wave protection. As such, we would like to introduce the idea of a global network of wave protection.

We are able to demonstrate a shared vision and how to continue the collaboration of all stakeholders in the future.

Potentially develop a joint conference statement on wave protection to set the stage for work plan for a future wave conference. Other ideas or initiatives can emerge, for instance to have the waves and surfing recognized as a worldwide natural heritage for mankind.



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