The Russian Federation won the bid to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014, in Sochi, a resort on the Black Sea,based on a decision by the International Olympic Committee, meeting in Guatemala in July 2007.
UNEP was invited by the Russian Government and the Organizing Committee of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games to provide guidance on the integration of environmental considerations in the preparation and staging of the Games.
UNEP has a longstanding collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the greening of the Games that spans Athens 2004, Torino 2006, Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between UNEP and the Organizing Committee of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Moscow on 5 June 2009, highlighting the following areas of cooperation:
So far, UNEP has conducted six expert missions to Moscow and Sochi that resulted in the following:
- UNEP will provide the Organizing Committee with advice and technical support on the environment in relation to the planning and the staging of the Games.
- UNEP will undertake two independent environmental reviews prior to and following the culmination of the Games.
- The relocation of the sliding venues and the Olympic Mountain Village away from the borders of the UNESCO World Heritage Site;
- The organisation of multi-stakeholder roundtables in support of a transparent and participatory process;
- A commitment by the Russian Government to undertake through Olympstroy a comprehensive environmental impact assessments on the ground (see note on this);
- A commitment by investors and contractors to participate in the development and implementation of a restoration plan for the Mzymta River Basin, based on a Declaration of Commitments facilitated by UNEP.
- The development of Action Plans for the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee in the following key areas:
- Zero Waste
- Climate Neutrality
- Harmony with Nature
- Environmental Enlightenment and Education