The International Traditional Karate Federation reinforces its strength and pioneering spirit with the launch of ITKF Green Belt project, aimed at environmental awareness and sustainability.
BY PAULO PINTO / GLOBAL SPORTS
APRIL 13, 2023 / CURITIBA (PR)
The conception of ITKF Green Belt project began at ITKF World Championship held in Slovenia in 2022, when sensei Ricardo Buzzi presented the idea of zeroing carbon emissions in institutional events. The proposal was very well received and had full support from the management of ITKF Global.
Gilberto Gaertner, chairman of ITKF, understands that an entity dedicated to education and sport cannot exempt itself – or even release itself – from participating and supporting socio-educational causes of such relevance as environmental issues.
“We are currently experiencing an unprecedented climate crisis as a result of the ruthless exploitation and destruction of the planet’s natural resources, the pollution of rivers and oceans, the emission of gases that cause the greenhouse effect and cause global warming, among other harms.”
In this context, ITKF Green Belt project meets ITKF purposes of being socially and environmentally responsible and aligned with the UN SDGs. “Without a doubt, we can make a significant contribution through environmental awareness programs, changing habits and sustainable projects in our organization, reaching thousands of people. We will start with the national federations (MO), affiliated clubs and schools, directors, instructors, students and family members”, announces the director.
After the initial feasibility studies, a broader vision of the Green Belt project was chosen, which will start with environmental awareness through informative lectures, training of instructors and posting of instructive material on the entity’s social networks. Concrete actions will also be carried out at our events, such as planting trees, separating and selectively collecting garbage, reducing the use of paper and electricity, distributing beehives , as well as awareness actions in partnership with the public power and local communities. Gaertner advances that ITKF will zero the carbon emission on trips of its directors.
“I believe that, with the strong and effective engagement of our institution in the process of environmental awareness and sustainability, we will assume an unavoidable responsibility in the fight for the conservation of life on our planet. We are going to use all our fighting capacity so that this confrontation can guarantee the lives of future generations.”
New way of karate for the next generations
The four-time world champion in kumite and architect Ricardo Luís Buzzi, coach of the Brazilian Traditional Karate Team, believes that this historic and delicate moment has its origins in climate changes caused by greenhouse gas emissions and by the reduction of the absorption capacity of these gases across the planet due to the reduction of plant masses on all continents.
“Perhaps this whole process is not so clear for today’s society, as evaluating the historical period during its validity is very complex. The lack of conclusion of the facts does not allow us to parameterize the consequences and the extent of the changes, but the signs that something is happening are very clear, as shown by the various world conferences that have been held on the subject for decades and the vehement alerts of the entire scientific community, ever more incisive, based on solid research and data collected all over the planet.”
Buzzi assesses that this crisis has the potential to be so serious that it can cause complete changes in the most varied aspects of human societies – changes in production platforms, in energy matrices, in agriculture, in forms of consumption, in international borders, in the distribution of water resources , in the domains and possessions of forest reserves. Not to mention the global inflationary movements and the unimaginable number of changes related to the migration of people affected by possible crises, such as permanent floods caused by rising sea levels, extreme droughts and changes in rainfall patterns. All of this can make entire regions of the planet uninhabitable, altering population distribution and reducing food production, leading to potential wars and disputes over resources and territories for housing and agriculture, population mortality, chronic hunger waves and profound impact on ecosystems of the most varied biomes.
“The consequences are unpredictable and could be more or less drastic depending on the actions taken by governments, companies, organizations and individuals in the present and in the near future”, continues Buzzi. “It is certain that climate change is knocking at our door and it is up to us, armed with scientific data and aware of the historical and environmental process in progress, to take all possible measures to neutralize the maximum impact caused by our activities.”
Buzzi warns that such challenges cannot be ignored, as if the historical process and the environmental impact did not exist or as if it were the task of others – governments, institutions, individuals – to fight this very serious issue. “The moment calls for immediate action and not empty speeches as our activities continue to brutally impact the planet. The future that will not forgive the inaction of institutions and individuals.”
For Ricardo Buzzi, it is time to act and join the ranks of those who effectively collaborate to safeguard humanity’s most precious asset – planet Earth – and its ecological and environmental balance. “The fight involves effective actions and investment by all parties involved in the management and action process of ITKF and its member countries”, he emphasizes. “It is not enough to state in our proposals and speeches that we are environmentally responsible partners, we must take effective action. This means investing in environmental education and actually neutralizing the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the procedures of ITKF and its board, its displacements and direct activities, with the intention of generating a cascade reaction in which its affiliated members, through the example of ITKF, may also adhere to the concept of sustainability and the reduction of environmental impacts in their activities.”
The coach of Brazilian team considers that the initiative is an important step for ITKF to be able to align itself with the premises of ESG. “The adoption of environmental management policies and the implementation of ITKF Green Belt project will be a pioneering institutional advance within the world karate management entities, putting into effect real actions of social and environmental responsibility. ITKF is ahead of other institutions, demonstrating an important organizational advance and gaining greater credibility”.