The IAAF is pleased to note that amongst the very first winners of the IOC Award for Sport and the Environment announced yesterday at the World Conference on Sport and Environment in Vancouver, was an initiative called the Green Africa Foundation which was supported by the IAAF as part of our sustainable development initiatives.
This is a Kenyan organisation founded in 2000 to support ecological and environmental conservation with particular focus on arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya, where there is widespread poverty.
Recognising the impact of sport on ensuring environmental sustainability, the Foundation has launched a "Green Africa Sports" department, which sets up guidelines for sports organisers about environmental awareness, proper waste management, and creating and maintaining a green environment.
On the occasion of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships held in 2007 in Mombasa (Kenya), the environmental project set up by the Foundation, in close cooperation with UNEP, was considered by the IAAF as having set a precedent for all future IAAF events.
The inaugural IOC Awards for Sport and the Environment were presented to five organisations representing the five continents which have made tremendous contributions to the implementation of outstanding practices in the field of sustainable sport and the environment.
The entries received illustrated not only the involvement of sport in driving the environment agenda, but also the importance of its contribution.
The winners were chosen from among individuals, groups and organisations nominated by National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Sports Federations (IFs) and Continental Associations.
A jury composed of members of the IOC Sport and Environment Commission selected the winners for each continent, taking into account the following basic evaluation criteria: impact of the activity/initiative/project on the promotion of sustainable sport; ability of the activity/initiative/project to be carried on and to serve as a catalyst for sustainable sport practice worldwide; voluntary contributions and innovative approaches.
The full award list is:
- Africa: Green Africa Foundation
- America: Oregon Track Club
- Asia: Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Organizing Committee (BOCOG)
- Europe: German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB),
- Oceania: "Rainbow Project" by Rowing New Zealand