World Trails G7 Summit: Carving Out A Path To Recovery
Words by Julian Gray – Vice-Chair, World Trails Network | Director, South West Coast Path Association
On 11th June representatives from trails around the world gathered virtually as part of an official G7 Fringe event to discuss some of the global issues impacting trails and trail users, as well as how trails can help mitigate climate change impacts and be part of the path to recovery post-Covid.
The June 2021 G7 Meeting was hosted by the UK in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on the South West Coast Path National Trail. The South West Coast Path Association took this opportunity to co-host the World Trails G7 Summit together with the World Trails Network during the G7 Meeting long weekend on 11-13 June.
Twelve trails’ representatives from the G7 plus 4 invited countries (Australia, Canada, EU, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, UK, USA) were chosen as panelists for the World Trails Summit. They did a wonderful job representing trail organisations from around the world, showing the diversity of issues we face and how these are being addressed. We were joined by around 200 international participants across five continents in this online event.
What the World Trails Summit has shown is that there is significant interest on the economic, as well as health and wellbeing benefits of trails, and their role in supporting recovery post-pandemic; climate change impacts and mitigation; the role of trails in active travel connecting communities and places.
Our challenge as World Trails Network is to not lose momentum, but to keep the conversations and actions moving forward across our hubs, networks and task teams. Specifically, to help ensure that the World Trails Conference 2022 picks up these themes and gives our international trails community the space to engage in how we network, share experiences, learn from each other, and strengthen our voice for the world’s trails and their role in helping address the challenges of our time.
Videos from each panelist’s individual presentation – along with the welcome and closing sessions are linked below: