Environmental Sustainability Issues in the Olympics

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The Centennial Olympic Congress of Paris recognized these problems and incorporated environment as a “third pillar” of the Olympic charter, along with sports and culture. The UN Environment Program (UNEP), now a veteran and influential player in this arena, was among the first to get involved with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to work towards environmental sustainability issues in the Olympics. UNEP has also worked with the IOC to develop an “Agenda 21” for the Olympic Movement based on environmental sustainability guidelines created by delegates at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. In the year 1994 the IOC committed itself to encourage sustainability among its member nations and sports governing bodies by adopting its own Agenda 21. This agenda is being used by several National Olympic Committees for sustainable development work at the national level (Pitts, A. 2009). The 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, are now viewed as the first attempt to create a “green” Olympic Games. Local activists in Lillehammer successfully forced the country’s...

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