For 40 years, Earth Day has been celebrated annually on 22 April to mobilise environmental action in all parts of the world. More than one billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, and the 2011 motto is “a Billion Acts of Green”. The goal is to register one billion actions of individuals and organisations that support sustainability in advance of the global Earth Summit in Rio in 2012 – known as Rio+20.
Rio+20 on the IOC’s agenda
Rio+20 will also be in the focus of this month’s IOC World Conference on Sport and the Environment, which will take place in Doha, Qatar, from 30 April to 2 May 2011. In the opening plenary session, with the theme “The Olympic Movement at the Heart of the Environmental Debate: Rio 1992 to Rio 2012 to Rio 2016”, IOC President Jacques Rogge, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and other high-profile speakers will address which role sport can play in the global Sustainable Development Agenda - be it through educational means, setting environmental standards in major sport events like the Olympic Games or partnerships. In another initiative, which is in line with the spirit of Earth Day 2011, conference participants will be asked to make their own environmental pledge to care for our planet on a Green Wall Banner.
Learn more about the Conference, programme and keynote speakers here.
With the London Olympic Games and the first winter edition of the Youth Olympic Games ahead in 2012, the strategy is to rally key players from governments, the UN family, NGOs, the business community and civil society to reflect on the contribution of sport at large and the Olympic Games in particular for a sustainable future. The visibility and appeal of sport and the Olympic Games can help advance the global sustainability agenda. The IOC’s road to the Rio+20 Conference in 2012 will also see a renewal of the sporting community’s political commitments in these fields and the strengthening of existing partnerships. The objective is to encourage synergies with government and other major entities to have the most positive impact possible.