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11 Nov 2004
Olympic News , Sport and Environment

Sustainable development through sport

A regional seminar on “Sport and Environment”, which took place last week in Lomé (Togo), aimed to evaluate the initiatives and projects launched by National Olympic Committees (NOCs) since the World Conference on Sport and Environment held in Turin in December 2003, raise awareness of sustainable development and identify related measures/strategies. A similar seminar will take place next week in Havana, Cuba for a group of NOCs of the Americas.

Sustainable development
The delegates from the 12 NOCs presented detailed recommendations in order to encourage, in their countries, as well as in Africa, the development of activities in favour of sustainable development through sport.

From schoolchildren to athletes
The recommendations strive to reach out for target publics such as schoolchildren, students, teachers, youth/sports clubs, teams, coaches, and the athletes and spectators of sport events.

Specific plan of action
The activities envisaged range from more general ones (communication campaigns at sports events, partnerships with school/youth clubs, and the development of an “environment network”) to very specific activities such as:

- organising tree planting or waste collection activities around sports areas;
- making the sports community aware of reusing plastic recipients in conformity with basic hygiene rules
- organising collections of used bags and plastic bottles in the community.

Support from UN agencies and ministries
NOCs have been encouraged to carry out their activities with specialised governmental authorities (ministries in particular) and other institutions such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UNDP, UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF and FAO, which can also offer expertise on environmental issues.

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