As part of the Environmental Program supporting the preparations for the 2014 Games, Sochi has once again hosted a range of events to celebrate International Black Sea Day. In the grounds of Sochi National Park, a grand ceremony was held to mark the opening of a reconstructed eco-path, "The Dry Psakho Canyon". In Sochi itself the traditional city-wide environmental campaign "A clean sea for a clean city" was held, organized by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and the Administration of the resort city, with support fr om the IOC TOP Partner, the Coca-Cola Company. Schoolchildren, students and Sochi 2014 volunteers held a clean-up of the strip of beach alongside the River Sochi, whilst an educational ECO-village was opened in the city's main square.
On October, 26 the grand opening ceremony of the reconstructed eco-path took place, in the village of Golytsino in the Adler Region, with representatives of "Sochi National Park", Sochi Administration, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, and the local community in attendance, along with some Sochi 2014 volunteers. The route was devised by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, in conjunction with the Sochi department of the Russian Geographical Society, as part of a project to promote the development of eco-tourism in Sochi.
The eco-path, which goes through a box-tree forest containing an abundance of evergreen plant species, has been lined with special information panels, and was landscaped taking into account the preservation of all the elements of the ecosystem, and using only natural materials.
The route of "The Dry Psakho Canyon", which was set up with the active support and involvement of the local community and charities based in the resort city, is one of the elements of the rich "green" legacy that the Olympics will leave behind for the city.
The environmental awareness campaign "A clean sea for a clean city", which took place on October 27, was being held in Sochi for the fourth year in a row. Schoolchildren, students and Sochi 2014 volunteers headed off to clean up the city's beaches, with special prizes for some volunteers. Students and volunteers from Novorossiysk and Gelendzhik also joined forces with the "eco-warriors", by going out to tidy up the Black Sea Coast.
An educational ECO-town was established at the central square of Sochi wh ere a series of events took place dedicated to the maintenance of the unique nature of the region and the protection of the environment. The guests were greeted by a comprehensive educational and entertainment program: environmental master classes and quizzes for the schoolchildren and teachers of the city, and awards for school environmental competition winners.
In the framework of the celebratory events, a round table was also held on the theme of: "Approaches for the increase of personnel environmental responsibility among the residents of cities." Participants included Doctor of Biological Science, Professor Nikolai Drozdov, well-known blogger and activist Sergei Dolya, Manager of Environment Department for the UN Development Program, Natalya Olofinskaya, representatives of the Sochi city Administration, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and the Coca-Cola Company. The theme of the involvement of the local population and youth in environmental projects as well as issues of eco-education, personal participation and the contribution of residents to the maintenance of the environment and eco-support for the preparation for the 2014 Games were the main focus of the round table.
In the framework of the celebration, a special seminar was also held for Krasnodar teachers on the new didactic manual "Black Sea Box", which was integrated in the schools of Black Sea cities starting from September 1, 2012.
The event program also included a three day environmental cinema festival, "H₂0-Sochi", which was organized in the framework of the joint international initiative of the UN Development Program and the Coca-Cola Company, "Every Drop Matters". A selection of vivid documentary films was presented at the festival covering the search for alternative fuels, the "environmental" cost of electrical energy, the role of vehicles in people’s lives and climate change.
The signing of two agreements on non-commercial partnership between the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, "Sochi National Park" and "Caucasus State Natural Biosphere Reserve" coincided with the celebration of Black Sea Day.
Notes to the editor
International Black Sea Day is celebrated in memory of the day in 1996, when six countries neighboring the Black Sea – Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine and Russia, signed a Strategic Action Plan for the rehabilitation and protection of the Black Sea. The plan was developed after the staging of multilateral research of the Black Sea environment which showed that its natural condition had significantly declined in comparison with the previous three decades.
The main international document that regulates issues of Black Sea protection is the Convention on the protection of the Black Sea from pollution, signed by six Black Sea countries - Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine in 1992 in Bucharest (the Bucharest Convention).