Sport for Sustainable Living: Vancouver 2010 to host the 2009 IOC Global Conference on Sport and the Environment

    NEW YORK, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - A worldwide forum on issues and opportunities
for sustainable sport is coming to Canada in spring 2009, when the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)
will host the 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment. John Furlong,
VANOC Chief Executive Officer, confirmed the Organizing Committee's role as
2009 conference host in his comments during a signing ceremony today for a
memorandum of understanding between Vancouver 2010 and the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), at the United Nations headquarters in New York
    This will be the first time the international conference will be hosted
by a Canadian city. Past conferences have been held in Nairobi, Kenya; Torino,
Italy; Nagano, Japan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and
Lausanne, Switzerland. The 7th World Conference on Sport and the Environment,
hosted by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad,
just concluded in Beijing.
    "We are delighted to host such an important conference that will showcase
the progress being made by the Olympic Movement in the field of sustainable
development," said John Furlong. "I am confident that we will draw a record
attendance and build on the intense and growing interest in sustainability
here in BC, throughout Canada and worldwide. All of the participants and
presenters will contribute to a compelling forum for global sustainable sport
experiences and expertise."
    "This conference reflects the growing global recognition of the
importance of combatting global warming and establishing sustainable economies
worldwide. Sport brings us all together around the pursuit of excellence. This
conference will unite us in assuring that international sporting events lead
the way in building global understanding of sustainability in all aspects of
our lives," said Gordon Campbell, Premier of the Province of British Columbia.
    The biennial World Conference on Sport and Environment, a joint
undertaking of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UNEP, is one of
the activities provided for under the terms of the two organization's
longstanding relationship. The IOC supports Olympic cities hosting the World
Conference as the conference provides a timely opportunity for the world to
come together to recognize the progress made in staging more sustainable Games
while encouraging cooperation and further development of environmental
initiatives relating to sport.
    The World Conference on Sport and the Environment typically attracts a
global audience of many hundreds of participants, including representatives
from the IOC, National Olympic Committees and International Sports
Federations, past and current Organizing Committees, candidate cities (current
and aspiring), other major international sporting events, governments,
corporate sponsors, academic institutions and environmental organizations. The
conference offers an attractive sponsorship platform, such that VANOC
anticipates sponsorship partners will finance the conference costs.
    Additionally, the annual meeting of the IOC Sport and Environment
Commission is typically held in conjunction with the Sport and Environment
Conference. The IOC Sport and Environment Commission advises the IOC Executive
Board on how the Olympic Movement should deliver on its Olympic Charter
commitments to the environment and sustainable development.
    The Commission also provides advice on how best to achieve the objectives
detailed in the IOC's version of the United Nation's Agenda 21 initiative.
Adopted in 1999, the IOC's version of Agenda 21 (subtitled 'Sport for
Sustainable Development') has three goals: improving social and economic
conditions; conserving and managing natural resources; and strengthening the
role of women, youth and Indigenous peoples in the Olympic Movement. More
information about the IOC Sport and Environment Commission may be found at

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. For more information visit

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Suzanne Walters, Manager, Media
Relations (International), VANOC, (778) 328-6386,

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