World’s highest decision-making body on environment highlights power of sport to advance sustainable development
From tackling marine litter and climate change to conserving biodiversity, sport’s contribution to sustainable development featured prominently at the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, which closes today in Nairobi.
As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) provides education, support and guidance to the International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), helping them address today’s sustainability challenges.
For example, since joining the UN Environment Clean Seas Initiative in June 2018, the IOC has brought 11 IFs, four NOCs and three of its commercial partners – Coca Cola, Dow Chemicals and Procter & Gamble – on board the programme, to take on the challenge of marine litter. Ichinomiya city in Japan, which will host surfing competitions during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, has also joined the initiative.
Since 2016, the IOC has also been partnering with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to help the Olympic Movement and the sports sector more broadly avoid potential negative impacts on nature. A new IUCN guide launched at the Assembly as a result of this partnership outlines how the careful planning, location and design of new sports venues can help avoid potential negative impacts on nature – and even contribute to its conservation.
“On behalf of the IOC President and the entire Olympic Movement, let me say that our thoughts are with all those who lost their lives in the Ethiopia Airlines plane crash - but of course, given the meeting today in Nairobi, also with those from the UN, which was so badly affected,” she said.