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19 Oct 2007
IOC News , Beijing 2008

Going green in Beijing

The "greening" of the sports world, and particularly the Olympic Games and other mega sports events, will be the focus of the 7th World Conference on Sport and the Environment which kicks off next week in Beijing. Taking place from 25-27 October in the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games, the event promises a remarkable and unprecedented mix of contributions from sports organisations, sponsors, NGOs, industry, government representatives and UN bodies. With its motto “From Plan to Action” the conference, jointly organised by the IOC and the Beijing 2008 Organising Committee (BOCOG), in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), aims to translate opportunities into practical actions to ensure a sustainable future.
Why sport and the environment?
A sustainable future - including social, economic and environmental aspects - is crucial for the future of sport. The increasingly fragile condition of the environment poses a direct threat to the future of sport. Accordingly, the efforts of the Olympic Movement are driven by two major concerns: the first is the impact that a degraded environment can have on sport, the Olympic Games and most importantly, the athletes. The second concern is the reciprocal impact that sport and, in particular, the Olympic Games, can have on the environment. Every nation on the globe is part of the environmental problem as well as the solution, and 205 of them participate in the Olympic Games.  As such, the Games offer a rare forum for learning and cooperation.
Following presentations from past and future Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), a complete session will be devoted to Beijing’s environment partners, who will present a progress report on the preparations for the 2008 Games.

Make it happen
In order to overcome universal environmental challenges, single efforts must be unified into a joint action.  Also, for the sports movement, advice from NGOs and other experts, such as UNEP, plays a key role in helping to develop strategies for the future. Since 1994 the IOC has been working closely with UNEP, and several OCOGs have followed this successful cooperation. Currently, UNEP is conducting an environmental audit of the Beijing Olympic Games and will also continue working with the Beijing authorities in the long term. This is to ensure that the environmental legacy remains intact – and is built upon for future development. For the first time, the World Conference will welcome a representative from Greenpeace who will share his experience working with sports event organisers. The official conclusions will be a tool to ensure that the discussions and the outcomes of the World Conference itself will be sustainable – not forgotten, but monitored, followed up and developed further.

 Beijing 2008

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