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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES IN JAPAN TO DISCUSS SPORT AND ENVIRONMENT

NAIROBI/TOKYO/NAGANO, 30 October 2001 - More than 300 sport and environment stakeholders will participate in a Global Forum for Sport and Environment, scheduled to take place in Tokyo on 1 and 2 November 2001.

The first event, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Sports Alliance (GSA), Japan, offers an opportunity to present and recognize best practices on sport and environment. It will also launch a global movement to mobilize fans, goods manufacturers, contractors, athletes and federations in the area of sport to support and participate in environmental programmes.

His Imperial Highness, Prince Takamado of Japan, representatives from UNEP and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are expected to attend the Forum.

A publication, Sustainable Sport Management, authored by David Chernushenko (with Anna van der Kamp and David Stubbs) is due to be launched during the meeting. The principal sponsor of the book is UNEP. The Committed to Green Foundation also provided an important contribution of material and funding for the project.

The underlying message of the book is this: By organizing sports events, operating facilities, making products and providing sports services in a manner that is less harmful to the environment, sports organizations not only stand to save money but also to conserve the environment for future generations and for the good of sport.

Immediately following the Forum, the IOC's fourth, World Conference on Sport and Environment will take place in Nagano, Japan on 3 and 4 November. At this Conference, there will be a review of the contributions of the Olympic Movement to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) which will take place in Johannesburg in September 2002. Participants will also review the implementation of the Agenda 21 for Sport and Environment and environmental dimensions of preparations for Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Athens, Torino and Beijing. There will be discussions on the topic of environmental sustainability and sporting events.

Since 1994, UNEP has been working closely with the IOC. The connection between sport and environment is of great importance to UNEP. The environment provides the most basis but indispensable requirements for sport. Sound quality of air, water and land are basic necessities for involvement in any form of sport. If current trends of environmental degradation continue, our ability to engage in sport, particularly outdoor sport will be compromised. Sport events also provide important avenues for promoting awareness on environment and sustainable development issues.

Note to journalists: The Tokyo meeting will be held at the Tokyo Spiral Hall. The venue for the Nagano meeting will be the Kokusai 21 Hotel, Nagano City. To obtain further information regarding the publication, Sustainable Sport Management, contact via email: david@greengold.on.ca

For further information, please contact: Tore J. Brevik, UNEP Spokesman/Director, Communications and Public Information, P. O. Box 30552; tel.: (254-2) 623292; fax 623692; email: cpiinfo@unep.org or Theodore Oben, Head, Children and Youth/Sport and Environment Unit. Tel.: 254-2-623262; fax: 623692; email: theodore.oben@unep.org. In Tokyo, please contact: Tatsuo Okada, Executive Director, Global Sports Alliance, 2-11-15-5F Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan. Tel.: 81355756777; fax: 8135525-0888; email: okada@ba2.so-net.ne.jp

UNEP News Release 01/106