On the 14 March 2021, the International Day of Action for Rivers, a very successful Sustainability Webinar was held by the International Rafting Federation (IRF).
This, the first of many webinars was run in Persian and saw 61 attendees from a broad spectrum from tourism managers, sport managers, paddling coaches, rafters, and rescue technicians from all around Iran. It was surprising to see so many participants in different fields from different parts of the country.
There were a number of significant participants worth mentioning:
- Mohammad Hossein Bibi Kobadi – Head of Iran Mountain & Sea Rescue in Iran Red Crescent, a Guinness record holder in swimming (swam Persian Gulf 1051 km), International Instructor in the fields of rescue, scuba diving, paddle board etc.
- Mohammadali Gharaat – Head of Education Committee in Iran Canoe Federation
- Mahdieh Seraji – FISU Ambassador and University Professor in Sport Management
- Farhang Shadnia – Vice President of Iran Lifesaving Federation, University Professor
- Lisa Pourlak – UNDP Consultant in Iran (for more than 20 years)
- Alireza Rostami – Vice President of Asian Surfing Federation and Head of Iran Surfing Association
- Alireza Samani – Secretary General of Iran Surfing Association
Sustainability Webinar content
The Webinar was 2 hours long and started with an introduction to rafting, and then moved on to sport and tourism. It looked at the UN Sustainability Goals and the IRF’s Practical Guide to Sustainability. It then moved on to various aspects of Global Warming and Climate Change, and the plastic problem. The participants were particularly interested in the IRF’s 2011 World Rafting Championships, which were the first Certified Carbon Neutral world championship sports event. Sustainable and unsustainable development of rafting and river tourism in different countries was looked at and then a focus on Iran’s past, present and future sustainability. The Sustainability Webinar was then concluded.
Feed back from the Sustainability Webinar
The feedback from the webinar was very complimentary. Ms. Lisa Poulak (consultant of UNDP in Iran for over 20 years) said “The workshop was perfect! It was one of the best webinars that I have ever seen!” This feedback from people who are managers and consultants at high levels was very encouraging. Dr Kobadi (head of Mountain and Sea Rescue of Iran Red Crescent) said “It is great to see how the IRF considers Sustainability and it can be a model for other international federations”. Dr. Mahdieh Seraji (FISU Ambassador and University Professor) said “Thanks for your valuable webinar, a few of my students and myself attended this online workshop. Thanks for this opportunity, we learned a lot.”
Participants could choose to receive the online certificate if they wished, and the IRF will maintain a simple database of attendees for future reference.
Thanks must go to Kianoosh Mehrabi and Hanieh Goharipoor for putting the webinar together and running it so successfully.
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