The protection of the environment is part of the MARATHON DES SABLES 'DNA since its creation in 1986. "When we love nature, we do everything to preserve it" recalls Patrick BAUER, creator of the event, and still at its head today. Carbon neutral balance thanks to its partner Terres d'Aventure, respect of the natural spaces, waste management, total integration of the event, ethical aspect: the MDS worked in depth on this subject!
Carbon balance: for the first time, in 2019, the MARATHON DES SABLES (850 competitors + 600 staff members) will fully offset its carbon footprint.
For this reason, Terres d'Aventure, its partner for more than 20 years, has decided to take charge of this carbon offsetting, from a financial and technical point of view.
Indeed, Terres d'Aventure master this compensation technique because it already offsets the carbon footprint of all its customers. This absorption of emissions is managed by its Fondation Insolite Bâtisseur Philippe Romero, which is carrying out reforestation projects in Peru, Senegal, India and Indonesia. These projects are selected according to their environmental, economic and social impact. They are checked and certified at regular intervals by international organizations that certify their effects.
Respect the environment: dunes, ergs, regs, canyons, ruins, remarkable geological formations, archaeological remains ... The MARATHON DES SABLES sails with each edition in unique environments that the passage of several hundred people could disrupt . The layout of the steps is carefully studied to avoid damaging sensitive areas.
Leave the desert clean: the credo of the MARATHON DES SABLES is "the desert must be as clean after our passage as before". And sometimes even cleaner after! Trash everywhere, an incinerator truck, a very strict regulation and a communication supported towards the competitors and the staff, of the sorting of the waste ... Everything is organized in order to leave nothing in the desert that the wind can not sweep in a few days.
Minimize the impact of the event: the displacement of hundreds of people (competitors + staff), tons of equipment, vehicles used (4x4, trucks, helicopters), the necessary energy are carefully weighed to define the strategy. less polluting. Thus airplanes are chartered especially, the material is conveyed mainly by land, the helicopters are pooled for the different tasks (logistics, security, medical, media), the 4x4 and trucks are counted to the fair, the solar panels predominate ... And Of course, the MDS is a run: competitors do not use fossil fuels to realize their dream.
Ethical aspect : the MDS is organized with the support and participation of the local authorities. This is not an event that comes "consume Sahara", but it is an event that is implanted in the country, in a sustainable way - 34th edition anyway. In the same way, the MDS makes work primarily of local actors: drivers, logistics, catering ... And finally, the MDS supports, and sometimes even creates, local associations in charge of the economic development, societal, education ... In Ouarzazate, the The Marathon des Sables Solidarity Association has thus enabled the creation and development of a women's literacy and athletics center for children.