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The Olympic Movement's Agenda 21 - Conservation and Management of Resources for Sustainable Development

  For some years now, the Olympic Movement has regarded the environment as the third pillar of Olympism, alongside sport and culture. As a result, it has developed a proactive environmental defence policy which has found expression in the "Earth Pact", joint activities with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the "greening" of the Olympic Games, and the holding of world and regional conferences on Sport and the Environment.

  This Agenda 21 places the environmental defence policy of the Olympic Movement in the broader context of sustainable development. Thus, the environmental activities of the Olympic Movement are now geared to the preservation and management of natural resources and the natural environment necessary to improve socio-economic conditions as defined in the previous chapter.

  Methodology of environmental action for the Olympic Movement

  In general terms, all the actions undertaken by the Olympic Movement must take place with due respect for the environment and in the spirit of sustainable development, encourage environmental education and allow specific activities to help preserve the environment.

  In the building or conversion of facilities or the planning of large-scale sports events, those responsible will have to ensure that a prior environmental impact study is carried out to ensure respect for the cultural, social and natural environment.

  The environmental consequences of changes in sport rules should be taken into consideration when any such changes are being contemplated.

  Protection of conservation areas and countryside

  Sports activities, facilities and events must be so arranged as to ensure the protection of conservation areas, the countryside, the cultural heritage and natural resources as a whole. They will also have to be sited in such a way as to minimize the environmental impact of the infrastructure associated with them, such as housing, traffic arteries, communications, electricity supplies, water and food supplies, and waste disposal and processing.

  The use of a site must go hand in hand with protective measures. Provisions must be made for compensation in the event of irreversible change. The planning and financing of temporary structures must include provision for restoring the site after they have been dismantled.

  Sport practised outside of any sport facility and particularly in natural settings can be beneficial to the environment and can help in local development. The importance of respecting the natural site and ensuring landscape conservation must be strongly emphasized with participants to such sport activities.

  Sports facilities

  A special effort must be made to encourage the best possible use of existing sports facilities, to keep them in good condition and to improve them by increasing safety and reducing their environmental impact.

  The creation of new sports facilities must be confined to cases in which demand cannot be satisfied by using or renovating existing facilities.

  The location and construction of new facilities must be in compliance with the provisions of paragraph 3.1.6 of this Agenda 21. These facilities will have to comply with local legislation and be designed to fit in with the surrounding natural or man-made scenery.

  The running of sports facilities must be such as to respect the environment and preserve resources and energy. The operating personnel will be trained in environment-friendly techniques and economy of resources. The quantity of waste produced must be reduced and the use of recyclable materials encouraged. Use of dangerous or polluting chemical products will be avoided. If they are deemed essential, they must be used in accordance with existing legislation and with restraint. Particular attention must be paid to the arrangements for their storage.

  As knowledge and technologies improve, so products which constitute a danger to the environment or to health will be replaced. Water and electricity supplies and heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems will be regularly maintained or upgraded so as to optimize the economical use of water and energy.

     Sports equipment

  The members of the Olympic Movement will be encouraged to give preference to sports equipment which is environmentfriendly - for example, equipment which makes use of renewable natural products.

  To minimize expenditure on energy for the transport and distribution of goods, and with a view to advancing technological and economic development, the use of local products will be encouraged.

  Equipment manufacturers will be encouraged to lay down clear and recognized ecological standards to help the consumer select environment-friendly products. The sports industry should obtain ISO certification for quality assurance and environmental management.


  Transport contributes to various environmental problems, including air pollution, the consumption of non-renewable energy and excessive use of land for highways and parking areas.

  In order to reduce such impact while at the same time encouraging the mobility which is an important element in development, the Olympic Movement intends to promote schemes aimed at encouraging non-polluting means of propulsion and the use of public transport.

  For short distances, it will encourage means of travel which employ muscular strength and are associated with sport, such as walking or cycling.


  Access to energy is a motor of development, but its excessive, pollutive or uncontrolled use mortgages the long-term future of that development and is contrary to the principles of sustainable development.

  In order to meet existing needs while ensuring that future generations have access to the energy they will need, the members of the Olympic Movement are committed, in the work they do, the events they organize and their conduct in general, to:

  , reducing energy consumption where it is used excessively;

  , promoting the use of new technologies, equipment, facilities and practices which encourage the use of renewable energy sources and energy savings;

  , encouraging access to renewable and non-polluting energy sources for areas without such power supplies.

  Accommodation and catering at major sports events

  Because of the publicity given to such events, accommodation and catering arrangements for major sports events should set an example in terms of sustainable development. More specifically, the aim should be to:

  , encourage structures in accordance with paragraph 3.1.6 of this Agenda 21;

  , observe hygiene conditions strictly;

  ,make use of goods and foods that have been created with due respect for the development of the local population and the protection of the environment;

  ,minimize waste by maximizing recycling of the products used; and

  ,process waste that cannot be recycled.

  Water management

  Water reserves are limited and form part of a closed system. They are essential for farming activities, drinking and hygiene. In increasingly extensive regions of the world, the quantity and quality of water reserves are under threat.

  Consequently, the members of the Olympic Movement are committed in their activities, the events they organize and their conduct in general, to:

  , encouraging and supporting world-wide and local activities intended to protect water reserves and preserve the quality of natural waters;

  ,avoiding any practice which runs a risk of contaminating underground or surface waters;

  ,ensuring that waste water generated by sporting activities is processed;

  , not jeopardizing general water supplies in a particular region simply in order to satisfy the needs of a sports activity.

  Management of hazardous products, waste and pollution

  In most human activities, potentially hazardous products may be used and waste and, sometimes, pollutants, are produced.  This is equally true of activities associated with sport. In order to avoid the lasting harmful effects which potentially hazardous products and wastes may have on the environment and human health, the members of the Olympic Movement undertake:

  , to avoid using products recognized as being hazardous or toxic to humans or environmentally polluting;

     , not to encourage practices, manufacturing or agricultural techniques which require the use of such products;

  , to minimize the quantity of wastes to be eliminated and processed and promote community programmes for the management and recycling of wastes;

  ,to take advantage of the creation of new sports facilities, the renovation of existing facilities, the creation of new infrastructure and the organizing of major events to remediate sites contaminated by hazardous or toxic products, pollutants or waste;

  , to minimize all forms of pollution, particularly noise pollution;

  , to build upon successful practices and technologies used in previous Olympic Games to lessen pollution.

     Quality of the biosphere and maintenance of biodiversity

  The earth is our habitat, our biosphere, the only one we have. Our future is totally dependent on the preservation of the natural, physical and biological resources of the biosphere. Physical resources are limited and must be used with moderation. Biological resources are developing, and that development depends on our maintaining genetic diversity and the variety of species and populations of plants and animals and their habitats (or ecosystems); in a word: biodiversity.

  Aware of the importance of preserving the quality of the biosphere and the need to maintain biodiversity, the Olympic Movement condemns and opposes any practice, and especially any sporting practice, which:

  , gives rise to unnecessary or irreversible contamination of air, soil or water; or

  , jeopardizes biodiversity or endangers plant or animal species;or

  , contributes to deforestation or is prejudicial to land conservation.

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