The Olympics are a big deal; from organising to producing to watching, there are tens of millions of people involved…
The Programme of Action contained in the Agenda 21 adopted by the Olympic Movement called for (among other things)…
- there are few events that draw more worldwide viewers, and more interest; as such, there is no better stage to spotlight sustainability and sustainable development than the Olympic Games. More than twelve years ago, Lillehammer, Norway proudly hosted "the first Green Games ever";
- it all began in 1986, when the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Juan Antonio Samaranch, declared that environment was to be the third pillar of Olympism, along with sports and culture;
- the idea of producing environmentally-friendly Olympic Games began in 1992 when, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the idea of sustainable development began to gather momentum on the world scene. At the summit, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development adopted Agenda 21, a document drafted by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) that outlines how the world should address sustainable development. This version was adopted by 182 governments in June 1992 and became the springboard for the international community and governing bodies to create an Agenda 21 specific to individual community situations;
- Samaranch's declaration made Agenda 21 a very important consideration of the IOC. In 1994, UNEP and IOC joined forces to help make the theory of environment as the third pillar more of a reality, ultimately leading to the creation of the Sport and Environment Commission of the IOC in 1995;
- seven years after the original Agenda 21 was adopted, the IOC adopted its own version of Agenda 21 on June 14, 1999, in Seoul, Korea. The entire Olympic Movement adopted the Agenda in October 1999 at the III World Conference on Sport and Environment, held in Rio de Janeiro, where the fateful Earth Summit was held in 1992.
Along with the three general categories, the Agenda lists countless ways in which this should occur within the Olympic Games - everything from the installation of solar panels to using the celebrity status of athletes to launch an educational and informational program to closing down roads into and out of Olympic venues in order to reduce pollution.
- improving socio-economic conditions;
- conservation and management of resources for sustainable environment, and
- strengthening the role of major groups.