Saturday, 1 September 2007

IAAF Green Project in action – President Diack joins gold medallists in Tree Planting

IAAF President Lamine Diack at the Tree planting ceremony in Osaka, part of the IAAF Green Project(Getty Images)

Osaka, Japan - Launched on February 2007, the IAAF Green Project is an initiative that reflects a commitment to find ways to contribute to the global environment through events such as the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

The hope is that this project will contribute in some way to a healthier earth, one that supports a future in which everyone can enjoy athletics. We believe the IAAF World Championships in Athletics should continue to be a venue for determining world champions not only from among a few who are blessed by their environment, but from among all the world’s humanity.

The IAAF Green Project will continue on in the next Championships in Berlin and in the future Championships as well. We will work to ensure that our efforts become a valuable index for future sports events in Japan as well.

As the baton of hope for a healthier earth is passed on from Osaka to the world, and to future Japanese sporting events, we hope more than anything that the themes of this project will be taken up by everyone, and continued on into the future.

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Lamine Diack joins the champions in tree planting

As a visible sign of the IAAF’s commitment to the project, each day Osaka 2007 World champions have been taking part in a tree planting ceremony next to the ‘Marathon Gate’ at Nagai Stadium, and yesterday (31 Aug) IAAF President Lamine Diack and Green Project Ambassador Koji Murofushi (JPN) took their turns to plant for the future of our planet too.

Here is the speech of Lamine Diack on the occasion of the tree planting ceremony

“I am delighted to participate in this tree planting ceremony, in Osaka, today in the company of distinguished athletes and personalities.

In fact, it is the second time, during the course of this year that I am planting a tree myself.

The first time was last March in Mombasa, Kenya, during the 35th IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where more than 600 trees were planted by athletes and officials. 

The IAAF has also sponsored an ecological study, related to athletics by the University of Helsinki, on the occasion of the 10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2005.

At the national level, the IAAF has provided funds in 2004, to the athletics federation of Burundi, for a tree planting activities.

After the earth summit, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, I signed the Earth Pledge, an initiative undertaken by the IOC, as the President of the Senegal Olympic Committee, in Barcelona, during the Games of the 25th Olympiad. The IAAF is of course being involved in the framework of the Olympic Movement.

The IAAF has also signed a cooperation agreement, with the United Nations environment programme in 2006, during the 20th Olympic winter games in Torino, Italy.

I believe it is the responsibility of each human kind, to protect the environment. I believe it is a moral obligation, and a duty for the IAAF, to promote environmental awareness, as well as incorporating environmental issues in the preparation and staging of all world athletics series.

The IAAF will establish a sustainable development commission which will oversee our environmental activities among other educational issues.

I believe the most important action to undertake, is the preventive education at the school level.

We have to teach the children, and the youth in general, in a very simple way and language, about the protection of the environment, especially in the developing countries. The scientific language is only for experts.

I am pleased, that our Japanese friends have initiated under the motto of the IAAF Green Project an active commitment to protecting the global environment for a healthier earth.

Japan is a green oriented country, whose respect for the environment is well known, around the world.

I am grateful to the organising committee of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, and the local authorities for their dedication to the cause of ecological matters.
 
The IAAF will not only take action during its own competitions but will also encourage all continental associations and member federations to incorporate environmental issues in the planning of their activities.

The IAAF will also initiate a tree for peace planting activities in countries who suffered internal armed conflicts in cooperation with the national athletics federations.

The IAAF will also prepare an easy to understand environmental guidelines for the benefit of Member Federations.
 
Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks, to all the World champions and the IAAF Ambassadors for their kind participation, in this Osaka IAAF Green Project.

I also extend my sincere thanks, to our Japanese friends, the volunteers and to those who contributed funds to greening activities.

Thank you all - O K I N I”

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