POSTED: May 1st 2011

Jacques Rogge: Sport is a tool for environmental change

IOC president Dr. Jacques Rogge / Qatar Olympic Committee
IOC president Dr. Jacques Rogge / Qatar Olympic Committee

LAURA WALDEN in DOHA/ Sports Features Communications

DOHA, May 01: In his opening speech at the 9th IOC Sport and the Environment Congress, president Jacques Rogge called on the sports movement to have respect its carbon footprint and maintain the priority of sustainability in sports practices.

The Qatar NOC is hosting the IOC congress in Doha which is in partnership with the UNEP organization and features discussions on a range of environmentally related topics and issues.

Hungarian president Pal Schmitt is in charge of the IOC commission and is leading the meetings in the presence of Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, also an IOC member.

Sheikh Al Thani also received the IOC Sport and Environment award for a NOC and the country's work towards climate control. Qatar is also engaged in building revolutionary stadia for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. Al Thani is also head of the Qatar Olympic Committee.

Rogge said: “Environmental responsibility and stewardship is directly related to the mission of the International Olympic Committee. As the agenda for this conference suggests, our environmental obligations require that we do much more than reduce the environmental impact of the Olympic Games.

“We must incorporate respect for the environment in all activities related to the world of sport. Our Movement has accepted this challenge.

“We will hear during this conference how NOCs, and International and National Federations, are taking action to protect the environment and promote environmental responsibility.

“Just as we use sport to encourage young people to take better care of their bodies, we are using sport to encourage young people to take better care of our planet. Every member of the Olympic Family has a role to play in that effort and some of the best, recent initiatives will be awarded tonight.

“We will also hear from our partners from outside the world of sport. Combining our expertise and insight with theirs brings benefits to sport and the environment.

“We have made significant environmental progress over the past two decades, but we all know we can and should do more. That is why we are here. This 9th World Conference on Sport and the Environment is an opportunity to learn, share ideas and build on our success.

“Sport is a powerful tool for positive change. Our task here 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.

“Finally, let me express our solidarity with our Japanese friends who have experienced such a tragic disaster. The entire Olympic Movement is feeling with them.

The proceedings will be held over two days and delegates also have the chance to visit the Aspire sports venue complex and to learn about how Qatar is working to improve climatic conditions in their country. 

Keywords · IOC · UNEP · Qatar NOC · Jacques Rogge · Pal Schmitt · Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

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Laura Walden ()

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