With the increasing pressures on our environment and countless experts alerting us to impending crises, it is worth remembering that there is just one natural resource on which all life on our planet depends - but which most of us take for granted: H2O - Water.  But for the 1.1 billion people who currently have no access to safe, drinking water, and the 4 billion for whom WWF projects it will be a scarcity by 2050, this shortage is a matter to be taken very seriously.

For this reason, any single body of fresh, clean water is already sought after by many different groups, whether by flora, fauna, industry, agriculture, municipalities or, those who just like to row.

Rowing is a clean water sport, and so rowers have a number of very good reasons to be part of the "Clean water movement". On the one hand, our sport and its future depend on it; but on the other hand, we cannot be selfish in our approach to its use.  As a sports federation, FISA believes that we all have a responsibility to apply environmentally-sustainable practices in the use and management of water. But we must do more and we must encourage others to do the same.  

Fortunately, we have a great number of knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic people within our rowing family around the globe. And we know that sport is a very powerful means of communication to all age groups.  So FISA has decided not to just take part in the debate, but to take a leadership position.

In 2011 we commenced a Strategic Alliance with WWF International (World Wide Fund for Nature). WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent nature conservation organisation, with more than 5 million supporters and a network active in more than 100 countries across all continents. Since its creation in 1961, it has maintained a constant record of success. Today, WWF runs about 1,300 projects around the world at any one time and employs more than 5,400 people worldwide. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

Significantly, WWF is working to protect freshwater ecosystems and improve water access, efficiency, and allocation for people and the environment, which is why our partnership is a perfect fit in promoting clean water, one of the main priorities of WWF.

FISA's commitment on UNESCO World Heritage sites

In 2018, FISA became the first global sports body to pledge to protect UNESCO natural and mixed World Heritage sites. This pledge has developed out of FISA's Clean Water partnership with WWF and responds to concerns raised by UNESCO of past negative impacts by sports on World Heritage sites. FISA understands the value and importance of natural / mixed World Heritage sites and commits to respect and preserve their Outstanding Universal Value. This will be achieved through the careful assessment of any potential impact on the conservation of the sites and their buffer zones arising from FISA-sanctioned events, development and other official activities. Additionally, FISA will raise awareness across the wider sport of rowing (beyond FISA-sanctioned activities) so that National Federations, governing bodies, clubs and regattas understand how to avoid negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of natural World Heritage sites and their buffer zones. Click here for FISA's policy on World Heritage Sites