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Green Olympics?



Sochi (Russia), 9 June 2009 – In an effort to green the Sochi Olympics in 2014, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian Olympic organizers to help and advise them on making the Games environmentally friendly.

At the signing ceremony on 5 June, Theodore Oben, Chief of the UNEP’s Outreach Section, said: “I am sure the memorandum signed today will not only be a written commitment, but will guarantee that during the preparation and staging of Sochi 2014 great strides are made in environmental protection in Sochi and the Krasnodar Region,” said

Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of Sochi 2014, added: “Signing this important Memorandum will help ensure Sochi 2014 is able to introduce Green Standards to every level of the Games’ preparation and will ensure that the Organizing Committee continues to work with international environment experts to support this.”

Sochi, which sits between the balmy shores of the Black Sea and the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains in Russia’s Krasnodar Region, is renowned for its pristine setting.

In an effort to preserve this natural beauty, the city in 2008 followed UNEP’s recommendation to move the bobsleigh and luge tracks away from the Caucasus nature reserve, which is one of the only mountain areas in Europe that remains virtually untouched by human activity. In changing the venue, organizers stressed that they are committed to creating an “environmental legacy for the future of the region”.

“We developed the Sochi 2014 environmental strategy and this will ensure that the ecological situation in the Krasnodar Region is enhanced for generations to come,” stressed Chernyshenko at the signing of the agreement.

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