About this Research Topic
Environmental sustainability is one of the most urgent and complex ‘big issues’ facing the contemporary world, as highlighted by its centrality to many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Environmental sustainability issues take many forms, including: climate change and carbon emissions, waste management, pollution and environmental degradation, the use of scarce natural resources such as water, the use of ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ energy, the production and recycling of consumer items, and the impacts of modern living on biodiversity and the natural world.
All of these issues relating to environmental sustainability have critical importance for the fields of sports, physical activity and education, and outdoor life: for example, the development of facilities and equipment for these activities requires the use of scarce natural resources, and has significant impacts on the natural environment; the staging of sport events often carries a large carbon footprint and generates vast material waste; physical exercise in many settings carries substantial environmental risks, such as air pollution or excess heat; and, participation in outdoor life activities, such as mountaineering or canoeing, may threaten local biodiversity and micro-climates. Issues of environmental sustainability thus have crucial significance for sport, physical activity and education, and outdoor living, at many different levels: in terms of geographical scale (local, national, regional, and global), in terms of types of activity involvement (as participants and players, spectators, organisers, and investors), and in terms of varieties of expertise and commitment (as professionals, elite competitors, amateurs, and informal participants).
The goal of this Research Topic is to advance knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental sustainability in the three fields of sport, physical activity and education, and outdoor life. We aim to publish papers that draw on a wide variety of disciplines, mainly from the social sciences, but also from the arts and humanities, and potentially the natural sciences. We are also interested in a broad range of approaches, including papers that focus particularly on, for example, theory, methods, new data, and policy debates.
The Research Topic builds on the breakthrough conference on ‘Sport and the Environment’, that was staged in 2019 under the auspices of the European Association of Sport Sociology, and hosted by the University of South-Eastern Norway at its campus in Bø, Telemark. Four of the Research Topic editors have positions at USN and were involved in the event’s organisation.
We welcome papers that address any issue relating to environmental sustainability and sport, physical activity and education, and outdoor life. Potential topics may include:
• Sport development and the environment
• Staging events and the environment
• Sport cultures, sub-cultures and environmental sustainability
• Globalization, sport, physical activity and education, outdoor life, and the environment
• Traditional and alternative sports, physical activities and the environment, and outdoor life
• Physical education and activity, and the impacts of pollution and climate change on the natural world
• Policy strategies and issues for promoting environmental sustainability in sport, physical activity and education, and outdoor life
• Rethinking the environment and sustainability through sport, physical activity and education, and outdoor life
• Environmentally sustainable methods for undertaking research in sport, physical activity and education, and outdoor life
• Indigenous and culturally diverse knowledges of nature, the environment and sustainability, and their relationships to sports and active living
• Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches for investigating the environment and sustainability in sport, physical activity and education, and outdoor life
• Debates on diverse methodological approaches for investigating the environment and sustainability
• Diverse theoretical approaches, including critical and emergent theories (e.g. feminist, queer, postcolonial, STS, new materialist perspectives)
We would like to acknowledge that Christian Tolstrup Jensen (University of South-Eastern Norway) acted as a Topic Coordinator and has contributed to the preparation of the proposal of this Research Topic.
Keywords: Environment, Sustainability, Nature, Climate Change, Cultural Change
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.