The upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada neglect to monitor
ongoing environmental impact:
VANOC will violate International Olympic Committee mandate for
ecological sustainability according to
the international ecological monitoring group Guard Fox Watch (GFW).
San Francisco, California USA
September 17, 2007
The Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) must immediately begin
implementing a plan to record baseline measurements at Olympic sites in order to
gauge the effectiveness of its promised “Sustainability Commitment,”
according to Guard Fox Watch, an international environmental watchdog group.
2010 Winter Olympics organizers are neglecting to develop a system to
measure changes in pollution, energy, and sewage levels, plant and animal
species, soil and water quality, and natural habitats.
Environmental monitoring must continue on a regular basis prior to the
Games, while the Games are in progress, and after events have concluded.
“Without baseline measurements and an ongoing monitoring operation,
VANOC will not be able to modify or correct its efforts before, during or
following the Winter Games,” stated Peter Berg of Guard Fox Watch, an NGO
association of groups and individuals working to mitigate environmental impacts
of outdoor sports.
All outdoor sports venues, media and Olympic villages, cables and lift
facilities, roads and transportation, water and waste facilities, energy
facilities, and other support systems need to be included to make these
measurements comprehensive and meaningful.
The impact of Winter Olympics spectators also must be accurately gauged
in order to assess whether the Games fulfill the International Olympics
Committee’s mandate for an ecologically sustainable Olympics.
“Ironically, VANOC could actually contribute to global warming at a
time when the snow and ice that the Games depend upon is disappearing,” says
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics should not add to further
environmental destruction. Rather, in keeping with the IOC mandate, the Winter
Games should reduce Greenhouse Gases and protect the fragile ecosystems that
exist in mountainous places.
In addition, the Games should leave behind significant ecological means
for achieving local self-reliance and sustainability. Development and use of
solar energy, non-fossil fuel transportation, recycling geared to local
remanufacturing, water catchment and re-use, habitat protection, and regional
organic food sources are some of the means that can be employed, according to
Guard Fox Watch.
But VANOC’s Sustainability Report, issued earlier this year, lists no
provisions for monitoring ongoing environmental impacts of the Games, and this
winter is an urgent starting date to observe changes.
Unless VANOC immediately schedules monitoring of natural conditions at
all 2010 Olympics sites, it fails to meet IOC requirements that the Games are
VANOC’s Sustainability Report also reveals present lack of VANOC
oversight responsibility at more than half of the venues involved in the Winter
“This is a recipe for disastrous environmental damage of the kind that has
been demonstrated at preceding Winter Games, and hardly worthy of Vancouver’s
ranking as one of the world’s greenest cities,” says Berg.
*Guard Fox Watch has visited, monitored, assessed, made recommendations
about, and reported on the 1998 Nagano, 2002 Salt Lake City, and 2006 Torino
Olympic Winter Games.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
San Francisco CA 94131, USA
For coverage of Guard Fox Watch's press conference in Vancouver check out http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=n093025A
or do a Google search with these terms: vanoc "guard fox watch" .