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Call for partnership between sports bodies and environmental agencies

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Monday, December 08, 2003 - There is an urgent need to establish closer working ties between the bodies responsible for sports development and environmental agencies. The matter of insufficient communication between the two entities was underscored at the recently concluded World Conference on Sports and Environment, held in Turin, Italy.

At the conference, international bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations Environment Programme UNDP, among other prominent organisations, reiterated their commitment to seeing a demonstration of responsible concern for environmental issues from all those connected to the Olympic movement.

Senior Sustainable Development and Environment Officer in the Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing, Chris Corbin, who represented St. Lucia at the Turin meeting, says the implementation of the measures adopted at the conference, is critical to the development of small island states and must be implemented.

“Investments in sports must be seen as one of the critical strategies that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can manipulate for achieving sustainable development. Generally, we tend to look at sports very much from the leisure stand point, but more and more at the regional and international levels, sports is being seen as the main mechanism through which we can actually proceed on a path towards sustainable development,” Corbin said.

According to Corbin, St. Lucia needs to maximize the opportunities provided to link sports and the environment.

“When you think of linking sports and the environment, one needs to look at how one designs sports facilities. That is a strategy that we are currently regarding at this time – the construction of sports facilities in a way that will minimise possible environmental degradation,” said Corbin.

The forum also examined the roles athletes can play as role models and communicators for the environment and sports development.

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