The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.
Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 15,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.
IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.
Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.
Biological diversity, or biodiversity in short, is defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity as the ‘.. variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems’. Biodiversity supports valuable ecosystem services that are essential for the survival and healthy functioning of human society and its economic activities.
The links between Sport and Biodiversity
Sport can have significant negative impacts on biodiversity, through the construction and use of sports venues and the staging of sporting events. Sport can negatively impact biodiversity through land use to build permanent or temporary sports venues and facilities, as well as through the pollution, noise, waste, lighting, traffic, and resource demand resulting from the staging of sporting events attended by hundreds or thousands of spectators. At the same time, sport, through its global reach, can be an important catalyst for raising awareness about the need for biodiversity conservation, and promoting and supporting efforts to enhance biodiversity.
Understanding and managing the potential negative impacts and opportunities for conservation is vital for ensuring that sports venues and sporting events deliver successfully both from the financial and operational standpoint. Unmanaged or poorly managed biodiversity impacts can lead to financial, regulatory, operational, and reputational risks. On the other hand, timely and effective action to mitigate risks and enhance conservation can help venues and event planners and organisers increase their social license to operate, more easily attract future sporting events, establish long-term positive relationships with communities and the media, and attract sponsors.
Mitigating negative impacts on biodiversity
The construction of new sports venues, the installation of temporary venues and associated facilities, and the use and refurbishment of existing venues can all impact on biodiversity. The type of risks and opportunities will vary, depending mainly on the location of the venue (i.e. whether it is sited in an urban area or in the natural environment, and the importance of that environment for biodiversity) and on its size. While the impacts may be broader, more severe, and more obvious in a natural, undeveloped area, where it is often necessary to construct access roads, power supply infrastructure, and water and sewer infrastructure (amongst others), there are also risks to developing in urban areas, where many species make their homes within the built environment.
The staging of sporting events in both urban and natural settings can impact biodiversity through the presence of large numbers of spectators, who increase noise, vibration, pollution, waste generation, and traffic. Other risks to biodiversity from sporting events include oil or fuel spills, sewage discharge, light pollution, increased use of chemicals and fertilisers, and increased demand for natural resources.
To address these potential impacts, developers should first comply with all legal and statutory requirements relating to biodiversity. Beyond compliance, the recommended way to manage biodiversity impacts effectively is through the mitigation hierarchy of avoidance, minimisation, restoration, and offsetting of residual impacts. Preventive mitigation measures (avoidance and minimisation) are always preferable to corrective measures (restoration and offsets).
Maximising opportunities for biodiversity conservation
Sporting events and their associated facilities can leverage opportunities to promote and support biodiversity conservation through a variety of activities and initiatives, including:
• enhancing natural habitats in urban environments by restoring degraded sites, connecting fragmented habitats, building ‘green’ rooftops and living walls, installing man-made habitats for wildlife, increasing the diversity of plant species, and incorporating plantings in their project design that provide additional habitat and benefits to local fauna and flora;
• increasing the area under protection through on-site or off-site protection of natural features;
• generating funds and increasing awareness for protected area management by staging low-impact sporting events, such as running or mountain biking, within or partially within protected areas;
• raising public awareness about biodiversity through the use of biodiversity elements as mascots or as part of an event’s logo, and the creation of public exhibits and educational programs, as well as through sports commentators and individual, high-profile athletes;
• increasing available knowledge and data by sharing biodiversity inventories and baseline information that may be required as part of venue development with conservation organisations and research institutions; and
• generating biodiversity benefits through projects designed to offset the carbon footprint of a venue or event.
Where can you find solutions?
IUCN, in collaboration with IOC, has developed a series of guides designed to help decision makers understand and manage these potential impacts, as well as for maximising opportunities to use sport as a way to promote and enhance biodiversity conservation.
Read more about the Guides: Sport and Biodiversity published by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in 2018
Sport and Sustainability International (SandSI) is a non-profit Swiss association that seeks to accelerate sustainability in and through sport. SandSI is a global membership organisation, bringing together both sport and non-sport entities as well as athletes and scholars from all continents, using one common language: sport. Through its programmes, SandSI strives to have a positive impact on climate, waste and health, aligning itself with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 SandSI Goals are:
WHO began when our Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day. We are now more than 7000 people from more than 150 countries working in 150 country offices, in 6 regional offices and at our headquarters in Geneva.
WHO's priority in the area of health systems is moving towards universal health coverage. WHO works with policy-makers, global health partners, civil society, academia and the private sector to help countries develop and implement sound national health plans. In addition, WHO helps countries to provide equitable, integrated, people-centred and affordable health services; facilitate access to affordable, safe and effective health technologies; and strengthen their health information systems and evidence-based health policies.
WHO recently signed an agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to jointly promote health through sport and physical activity.
In addition, WHO is working with the United Nations (UN) and FIFA to support the #BeActive campaign, launched on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, and invite each and every one of us to stay #HealthyAtHome, while the whole world comes together to fight the COVID19 epidemic on a daily basis.
South Pole works with businesses and governments across the globe. They help realise deep decarbonisation pathways across industries, based on a thorough understanding of climate risks and opportunities in specific sectors, as well as the highest emission reduction standards.
South Pole purpose: Act today for a better tomorrow
Financing the goals of the Paris climate agreement calls for a fundamental shift in the global economy. South Pole success hinges on re-allocating capital at scale, unlocking substantial investments, being nimble and seizing opportunities.
South Pole vision: Climate action for all
The moral case for climate action is clear - failing to meet the climate and sustainable development challenge would push hundreds of millions of people into poverty, with devastating social and economic consequences globally. Moreover, millions of new green jobs are already being created through climate actions across sectors. Climate and human development are sides of the same coin. South Pole strives for a world where businesses, governments and communities make climate action the new normal.
South Pole mission: Accelerate the transition to a climate-smart society
Siouth Pole team of over 350 social entrepreneurs globally are developing innovative solutions tailored to the needs of specific organisations and entire sectors.
Among others, South Pole support FIFA, UEFA and FIA
The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change.
UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The ultimate objective of all three agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.
Sports organizations can display climate leadership by engaging together in the climate neutrality journey. They can achieve this by taking responsibility for their climate footprint, which in turn will incentivize climate action beyond the sports sector, and therefore help global ambition step-up in the face of the threat posed by climate change.
UN Climate Change invites sports organizations and their stakeholders to join a new climate action for sport movement. This initiative aims at supporting and guiding sports actors in achieving global climate change goals.
Uniting behind a set of principles, sports organizations and their communities have created an initiative by collaborating in order to position their sector on the path of the low carbon economy that global leaders agreed on in Paris: Sports for Climate Action.
This initiative is concretized by the creation of the Sport For Climate Action Framework.
UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. In partnerhip with the International Olympic Committee, UN Women launched the Sport or Generation Equality initiative which aims to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in and through sport. The sports movement is invited to join the Initiative to accelerate progress on a set of common principles and aligned objectives that will harness the power of sport in making gender equality a reality within and through sport. Other initiatives have been taken by UN Women in collaboration with various sport governing bodies. The most relevant can be found here : https://www.unwomen.org/en/search-results?keywords=sport
The Youth and Sport Task Force represents creative, passionate and innovative young leaders across Asia and the Pacific who use sport as a tool for positive social change in their communities. The youth are in control. They design their own programmes, determine their own priorities and collectively, decide on the strategic direction of the Task Force. UNESCO supports the Task Force by providing opportunities for the members to promote and enhance their work by connecting with each other and with regional and global opportunities for growth and capacity building. All programmes represented by the Task Force are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We are cultivating a community of young change-makers who are already making a big impact, by youth, with youth, for youth.
The THF empowers refugees and displaced persons worldwide by training them in the sport and martial art of taekwondo. It supports them with necessary equipment, infrastructure and related educational programs teaching the values of Olympism and global citizenship. By doing so, it improves their quality of life in refugee camps and their future prospects as global citizens. In a secondary mission, the THF helps WT carry out its responsibility as an international federation. It offers WT members and clubs the opportunity to do good by donating to or volunteering for THF programs. The THF is the brainchild of World Taekwondo, or WT. The two organizations share the same president, Dr. Chungwon Choue; the WT supports the THF in some of its operations; and the two organizations share office space in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, the THF is not part of the WT. It is a charitable foundation established under Swiss law in April 2016. The two bodies, the THF and WT, are financially and organizationally independent. The THF was officially announced to the world in a speech to the UN Headquarters in New York by Dr. Choue on Sept. 21, 2015.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. Millions of people are living, working and learning in LEED-certified buildings around the world.
The International Basketball Foundation (IBF) was founded in 2008 by FIBA, the International Basketball Federation. The Foundation is the social, educational and legacy arm of FIBA that addresses the role of sports and particularly basketball in society, preserving and promoting basketball’s values and its cultural heritage. Its main areas of activities are educational programmes for administrators, the management of FIBA’s archives, the establishment, housing and promotion of basketball's history and memorabilia as well as the FIBA Hall of Fame. It also owns and manages the House of Basketball, FIBA’s worldwide headquarters. The Foundation is active in fundraising and attracting and establishing a pool of donators. Mission