French football league makes biodiversity commitment

French football league makes biodiversity commitment

Clubs establish projects to engage players and fans as La Ligue de Football Professionnel agrees one-year partnership with WWF

Several French football clubs are coordinating projects around reforestation, beach clean-ups and eco-citizen education programmes to coincide with La Ligue de Football Professionnel’s one-year partnership with WWF France.

Ligue 2 club AC Ajaccio has started a reforestation project in the heart of the city, fans of OGC Nice have devised an awareness campaign to protect the Riviera coastline via a waste collection operation on local beaches, while Stade de Reims and Montpellier HSC are participating in World Clean Up Day.

Elsewhere, Valenciennes FC, AJ Auxerre and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard are providing training around waste sorting and Le Havre AC has established an eco-citizen awareness programme.

And several clubs, including Montpellier, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Dijon, Valenciennes, Reims, Lille, Amiens and Ajaccio, have partnered with Teragir – the French office of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe – to offer youth players educational activities to improve their awareness of environmental issues.

During the one-year partnership, WWF France and La Ligue de Football Professionnel will develop “practical fact sheets” on environmental challenges specific to football. The ambition is for clubs to use these fact sheets to reduce their environmental footprint – particularly when it comes to waste reduction and the elimination of plastic.

WWF France will also help clubs educate young players on biodiversity protection through activities and field trips.

“Every four minutes, a forest the size of a football field disappears on the planet,” said Nathalie Boy de la Tour, president of the La Ligue de Football Professionnel. “Faced with the phenomenon, it is important that everyone is concerned.”

She added: “This agreement with WWF France aims to raise the awareness of our public and our players to environmental issues. We also want to take advantage of WWF France’s expertise to help our clubs reduce their carbon footprint.”

During this weekend’s round of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 fixtures, the partnership will be highlighted on big screens at various stadiums, and a WWF mascot will be present at the following matches: PSG v AS Monaco, Stade de Reims v AS Saint-Etienne, Lyon v Angers SCO, AC Le Havre v Paris FC and FC Nantes v Amiens SC.

The Stade de l’Abbé-Deschamps, home to AJ Auxerre, will also have a biodiversity stand on its forecourt ahead of the team’s match against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. Fans will be able to donate €1 to WWF via text – an initiative set up by La Ligue de Football Professionnel.

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