More than 20 departments from the Sochi City Administration and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Krasnodar region have participated in a seminar to discuss the long-term social, environmental and economic benefits of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
At the seminar which took place in Sochi on April 23, participants discussed sustainable development as a global concept as well as the economic, environmental and social demographic requirements to ensure development is sustainable. They also discussed the necessary steps to be taken today so that by 2050, with a global population of 9 billion people and dwindling resources, people can be ensured a good quality of life. In the second part of the seminar, participants discussed the everyday practical steps that each person can carry out in order to bring a personal contribution to the sustainable development of Sochi and the planet as a whole.
Sochi 2014 is one of the first large-scale national projects in Russia to be carried out within the framework of sustainable development. The Organizing Committee has stated its objective to make the best possible use of the opportunities created by the Olympic project, to ensure the prosperity of the city of Sochi, the Krasnodar region and all of Russia.
Ahead of the Games, activities related to sustainable development are being carried in the following six areas: Healthy lifestyle, Harmony with Nature, World without barriers, Economic Flourishing, Modern Technologies, and Culture and National Values. The Organizing Committee is already highlighting successes in these areas including the creation of 560,000 jobs, the use of environmentally-sensitive technologies and introduction of "green" building standards. Sochi itself has been transformed into a model city for the construction of a barrier-free environment. The best practices and experiences gained during the preparations for the Games are designed to be shared with the whole country.
Notes to the Editor
The Olympic Movement has fully embraced the principles of sustainable development. In 1994, the Games in Lillehammer were the first to focus on environmental principles. In 2010, the Games in Vancouver were the first to be organized entirely on the basis of sustainable development. In the summer of 2012, London hosted the first "sustainable" Games.
According to the definition of sustainable development provided by the UN in 1987, sustainable development is the "development that satisfies the needs of the present, whilst not putting at risk the ability of future generations to satisfy their own needs." For modern society this topic seems new but has in fact been of great relevance for some time. In order to grasp the urgency of the issue, it should suffice to mention that over the past 100 years, the Earth's population has tripled, the use of electricity has increased by 12, yet 500 million people do not have access to fresh water. Here is an interesting fact: In 1960, the human population only needed 0.6 of the planet's resources in order to satisfy its needs. In 2020, we will need 2 planets. It is indeed possible to live a good life without threatening the development of the planet but only if we respect the principles of sustainable development at all levels.