Sochi 2014 Olympic partners commit to Mzymta River Basin restoration
Environmental Action Plans from Zero Waste to Climate Neutrality to Help Stage Greener Olympics
Sochi / Nairobi, 23 March 2011 - Leading partners involved in the construction of the Olympic venues and infrastructure in the Russian city of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, signed a Declaration, Wednesday, that commits them to develop and implement a restoration plan for the Mzymta River Basin, based on a recommendation by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In March 2010, UNEP submitted a report to the Russian Government outlining the impact of construction work on the environment and called for collective action to safeguard the unique ecosystem of the region, recommending the development of a restoration and biodiversity preservation and management programme for the Mzymta River Basin.
The report also recommended a Comprehensive Impact Assessment of Olympic and tourism projects on the ecosystem.
The Declaration of Commitments, facilitated by UNEP and witnessed by the Government of the Russian Federation, was signed today by representatives of Olympstroy, Russian Railways, Krasnaya Poluana, Gazprom, the Federal Grid Company, Rosa Khutor and the administration of the Krasnodar region. Also attending were Dimitri Kosak, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in charge of planning the games and Alexander Zhukuov, also Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 President and CEO, said, "International expertise in ecology is a unique asset to the Sochi 2014 Games legacy. In Russia where the 'green standards' practice has recently been introduced, the analysis and evolving of this into a reality of the leading international experience in restoring the complicated ecosystems is incredibly important. The recommendations of these independent ecologists are extremely important for creation a unique ecological legacy of Sochi 2014 Games which will continue to be maintained long after the Games are complete."
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "The Olympics are a source of national pride but also an opportunity for showcasing innovation and catalyzing action towards a more sustainable future nationally and internationally-one reason why UNEP is involved in the Olympic movement and a partner with the International Olympic Committee".