The International Ski Federation greets the initiative, grasped by the foundation "pro natura – pro ski" for the revalorization of ski areas. The discussion on the question of the interference in nature and landscape habitats by the sport of skiing – a long time controversial subject – has become more realistic.
The social and economic meaning, which the sport of skiing has for the mountain regions is as equally included in this assessment, as the recognition that the sport of skiing can only be lastingly ensured when it is in unison with nature.
Much thought was given to how revalorisation impulses in ski areas could best be applied. The presentation of seals of approval was surely a significant attempt. The idea behind the initiative of the "pro natura – pro ski" foundation in supporting skiing, is more far reaching. The auditing includes everyone, beginning with the present state of a ski area and by analysing its strengths and weaknesses, provides important aids for decision making in the organisation of ski run offers. Each respective commercial enterprise has it in the hand to decide whether to use this instrument for environnmental management, or whether it should be used for extending certification. In both cases, this will enhance the image of the ski area in question.
The International Ski Federation participated with Bernhard Russi and Erwin Lauterwasser in the development of the guidelines for auditing, because this was seen as vehicle for progressive thinking in the ecological stabilisation of ski areas. For the FIS, the acceptance of these objects is a guarantee for future orientated planning for the sport of skiing. The FIS desires the spread and acceptance of this instrument, not last because it offers the special opportunity of integrating environmental management in the planning, organisation and execution of international competitions. This step will surely find consideration by the future evaluation of applications.
With thanks to the pro natura – pro ski Association and their chairman President Hans Brunhart, I wish the guideline a good reception and an effective realisation.
President of the International Ski Federation