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The 2014 Olympic Candidates Go Green

Nairobi, 3 July 2007 - Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meet in Guatemala this week for the 119th IOC Session. High on the agenda is selecting between Sochi (Russian Federation), Salzburg (Austria) or PyoenChang (South Korea) as the host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

The strength of each Candidate City’s environment programme will be a key consideration during deliberations.

Indeed, the environment has become an indispensable element in the evaluation of bids to host the Olympic Games and the IOC has progressively taken the environment into account throughout the lifecycle of the Games. It regards the environment as the third dimension of Olympism, alongside sport and culture.

From the beginning of a city’s desire to stage the Olympic Games, through to the long-term effects of those Games, environmental protection and sustainability are prime elements of Games planning and operations.

Olympic Games are above all about sport and the athletes, but they can bring several important environmental outcomes if they are planned, managed and conducted in a way which minimizes the adverse environmental impacts and effects. The opportunity of the Games can also be used to provide sustainable environmental legacies, such as the rehabilitation of sites, the promotion of environmental awareness and the improvement of environmental policies and practices in the city and region where the Games are taking place.

The Games can further encourage and facilitate strong environmental actions, technology and product development in the host city and country, and beyond, through the showcasing of best environmental practices. It is important to note that these positive legacies can occur whether or not a Bid is successful. Therefore the two Candidates who do not get elected could still implement their environmental programme. 

UNEP, Sport and the Environment

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