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19 Apr 2007
Olympic News

IOC honoured with Champion of the Earth 2007 Award

Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was honoured with the Champion of the Earth 2007 award during an official ceremony in Singapore. The Chairman of the IOC Sport and Environment Commission, Pál Schmitt, and member Ser Miang Ng received the award on behalf of the Committee. This prestigious award presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 2004, recognises prominent and inspirational environmental leaders from each region of the world. The 2007 winners, who include former Vice President of the United States Al Gore, have all made an impact at the policy level through their leadership, vision and creativity. “I am very proud to receive this award, which is a great recognition of the IOC’s responsibility towards and commitment to the importance of sustainable development in sport” said IOC President Jacques Rogge in a video message, and continued: “With the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, Vancouver and London, we have important challenges ahead of us. We are glad that we can meet them with the Organising Committees in the host country and host cities that are taking our concerns seriously. We have asked them to place the bar very high, and are challenging them with strict criteria to be respected”.

The “Green Games” concept becoming a reality
Today, from the beginning of a city’s desire to stage an Olympic Games, through to the long-term impact of those Games, environmental protection and, more importantly, sustainability, are prime elements of Games planning and operations. A shining example of the IOC’s work with the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games was last year’s Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Among the key sustainability initiatives were the compensation of greenhouse gas emissions, waste minimisation and important achievements in areas from conservation of fresh water and mountain ecosystems to transport and eco-friendly building designs. Moreover, the 2006 Turin organisers adopted environmental certification and management standards like EMAS (the European Eco Management & Audit Scheme) and ISO 14001 as well as Eco-labels for hotels and Olympic accommodation.

On the way to Beijing 2008
The environmental challenges for the 2008 Beijing Games are arguably greater than for any previous Games given the context of China’s rapid development and the impact it is having. The Olympic Games are being positioned as a model for environmental sustainability in Beijing and for China. Many of the environmental solutions being implemented in advance of the Olympic Games will be adopted by other municipalities in China and abroad. The “Green” Olympic Games will have some influence on future legislation and improve the public’s environmental awareness by clearly highlighting the value of achieving harmony between mankind and nature. Hundreds of environmental protection and awareness programmes have taken shape in Beijing, including a comprehensive environmental awareness programme targeting residents and children. UNEP will continue working with the Beijing authorities in the long term to ensure that the environmental legacy remains intact and is built upon for future development.

The environment – an integral part of Olympism
Since the early 1990s, environmental protection has been a major concern of the IOC. Alongside sport and culture, the IOC considers the environment as the third dimension of Olympism. The objective set is to ensure the environmentally-friendly staging of the Games and even more: for the Olympic Games to be a motor to develop and improve the environment in and around the host city, to leave a green legacy; and to promote awareness on the importance of a healthy environment. In order to achieve this objective, the IOC has cooperated with environmental experts such as UNEP since 1994.Through the Olympic Movement’s worldwide network, the IOC’s message can reach millions of young people and the general public.

 Learn more on promotion of sustainable development
 UNEP Official website

Related Stories:
 Beijing 2008: IOC receives the Champion of the Earth 2007 award
 Vancouver 2010: Championing Environmental Legacies

 London 2012: IOC receives top environmental award
 London 2012: Championing the Earth

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