30 April 2011 - The 9th World Conference on Sport and the Environment opened today in Doha, Qatar with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presenting six organisations with the IOC Sport and Environment Award for their outstanding contributions in the field of sustainable sport and the environment.
The Conference, taking place from 30 April to 2 May under the motto “Playing for a Greener Future,” is jointly organised by the IOC and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Qatar, in close partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Representatives from the world of sport, industry, sponsors, the United Nations and NGOs will address issues related to environmental responsibility and sport in plenary and breakout sessions.
The IOC Sport and Environment Award is presented every two years to members of the Olympic Movement (individuals, groups or organisations) who are nominated by NOCs, International Federations or Continental Associations. This year, 43 candidatures were submitted, with one winner selected for each of the five continents:
Africa: 2010 FIFA World Cup Host City Cape Town
Americas: IX South American Games 2010 Host City Medellin
Asia: Japan Swimming Federation (JASF)
Europe: National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark
Oceania: National Olympic Committee of the Marshall Islands
A special award was given to the NOC of Qatar for its commitment to the environment and sustainable technology, including its goal of delivering zero-carbon, solar technology to cool its 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums and training sites. Click here to learn more about the winners and their projects.
IOC President Jacques Rogge, who gave an opening speech at the Conference, applauded the winners for their dedication to the environment while wishing the assembled delegation a successful three-day event. “Sport is a powerful tool for positive change,” President Rogge said. “Our task is to ensure we use that tool for the benefit of the planet we share. We owe that to ourselves and to the future generations who will inherit this earth. The winners here tonight have embraced this concept and are worthy recipients of the IOC Sport and Environment Award.”
Over the next two days, participants will discuss a range of environment-related topics, including how sport can contribute to the 2012 Rio +20 Earth Summit; ways to locally and globally implement the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21; how to make sports events more sustainable; how sport can help achieve Goal 7 (environmental sustainability) of the United Nations Development Programme’s Millennium Development Goals; and the role of Olympians in promoting respect for the environment.
“It is a huge honour and a proud moment for the Qatar Olympic Committee to be co-hosting the 9th World Sport and Environment Conference,” said Qatar Olympic Committee General Secretary Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. “The IOC and UNEP have developed an influential Conference over recent years that has stimulated real discussion and provided thought-leadership to the global sports sector. I have no doubt that this will be the case at this year’s Conference.”