“For 15 days a year the world is watching the Dakar and we cannot forget that it is an enormous privilege to be there.” The sustainable and supportive Dakar Rally of Iván Merichal.
The Spaniard Iván Merichal, Catalan by birth and Galician by adoption, will face the toughest race in the motorbike world in a way that respects the environment and is committed to his social environment. We spoke with the protagonist of this challenge.
The sustainable Dakar:
We want to know how a great project such as being present at the Dakar Rally is articulated, minimizing its environmental impact and the formula does not seem complex: "The combustion of our engines generates CO2 and I have proposed that my Dakar does not have that negative impact", known as the carbon footprint, and Iván has done the numbers to find out what it translates into: “We know the impact that the Dakar project will have on the environment. It is calculated at 7.3 tons of CO2, including training, flights, van trips and the boat trip of the motorcycle to Saudi Arabia. I have included everything”, and he continues pointing out how he will manage to make it sustainable “I will do it by planting trees. I have created a virtual forest, but with real trees, in which I invite everyone who participates in my project to plant a little tree. I do this through a platform that guarantees the traceability and transparency of the process and thus eliminates the carbon footprint that my Dakar project will generate.” In this way, Iván takes advantage of the photosynthesis of plants by absorbing carbon dioxide -CO2- to compensate for what is generated by his project. Fantastic!.
The Solidarity Dakar:
It seems that Iván had it clear from the beginning. His Dakar project, in addition to being sustainable, had to be supportive: “I collaborate with the Enki foundation to help them finance the purchase of material. Enki works to reintegrate people with functional diversity, doing a very important task with people who have spinal cord injuries, which unfortunately is closely linked to motorcycling. They offer themselves as a point of support to all these people, showing them that there is also a happy life after an event like this and they convey it through sport with wheels, so this passion also unites us.”
Iván makes an enormous effort to finance his Dakar project, but not in any way, and we have been fascinated by his determination to take advantage of his presence in a rally as high-profile as the Dakar, to contribute his grain of sand: "For 15 days a year the world is watching the Dakar and we cannot forget that it is an enormous privilege to be there. For me it is a moral obligation to do things that have a positive impact on my environment while I fight for many brands and people to get involved. That is to say, I cannot alone, but I have to return this help in some way and for me it is this: in my direct environment through Enki and to the environment with the planting of trees.” and he concludes by breaking a spear in favor of the motor world: “Motor sport is no stranger to environmental sensitivity. Above being a pilot, I am a lover of nature and although today it is not possible to do a Dakar on a motorcycle with a non-combustion engine, we can do things and this is my small contribution," stating that "I will be the first to to carry out a sustainable Dakar on a motorcycle and I hope that from here, many more people will be encouraged.”
We can all plant a tree in Iván Merichal's forest. Are you up for it?: https://www.treedom.net/es/user/ivanmerichal/event/dakar-2024-ivan-merichal
Source and photos: Pablo Pillado, https://ivandakar.com/