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
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
“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.