Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Two or three things I know about it...

1. Are the orienteers the future guardians of nature? The answer seems to be yes and comes in a study by Charlotta Bjurvald and Robert Johnsson Wetterlöf concerning the impact of an event with the magnitude of the O-Ringen Skåne in 2014 on the ground. With a forest management increasingly rationalized and the decline of the interference of agriculture in the way of life and traditions of the populations, there is an strong link between biodiversity and the landscape's disturbance. Seeking to clarify how the forest reacts to the presence of 25,000 orienteers, the study analyses three locations before and after the competitions, in the bottom and field layer. The results showed a clear decrease in the frequency of the dominant species, but trivial species in all areas and in one area the amount of bare ground also increased, allowing to conclude for less dominant species to spread and therefore can benefit the biodiversity. “In the future, Orienteering may have an important word to say in terms of conservation of species,” the authors conclude. The article can be read - in Swedish (!) - at

2. It is now published on the International Orienteering Federation's webpage the summary of the TOC Meeting of last January, from where we extract some interesting notes. The first has to do with the the responsabilities and the work of Commission, with a proposal of reorganization suggesting that, at least, two Council members should liaise with each of the disciplines and support the Commissions. Each Commission shall appoint a Supervisor, which shall over the years guarantee the continuity of experience and support and advise the SEA. Another subject matter has to do with the electronic recording system, being appointed the WTOC 2016 in Sweden, as the goal for being implemented. Currently are being prepared some documents, one of which is a handbook about how to set up a secretariat that will produce fast and accurate results at a TrailO event. The Unofficial European Cup in Trail Orienteering was another widely discussed matter, continuing the debate on the possibility of turning it official, and the creation of a World Ranking and World Ranking Events, similar to what occurs in the other three disciplines. Finally, a situation that concern us in particular: Portugal is, so far, the only applicant to organize the World Trail Orienteering Championships in 2019. The summary of the TOC Meeting can be read at

3. The last note of “Two or Three Things I Know About Her ...” of this week offers you... music. The song is written by the "Said the Whale", a indie rock band from Vancouver, Canada, which emerged in 2007 with Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft. The band has so far published four studio albums and won the Juno Award for New Group of the Year in 2011. Among its most popular themes - and it was here that I wanted to get – there's a song about ... Orienteering! No, it's not unheard of. But it is unusual. And more unusual still is the fact that both, the song and the lyrics, are beautiful. But this is already a matter of personal taste and... it is best to listen to it.

Joaquim Margarido

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