Over one hundred guests representing sports organizations, athletes, sporting goods manufacturers and educational institutions gathered at the ANA Hotel, Tokyo on 19 October to kick off preparations for the Sports Summit for the Environment 2005, taking part at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. With the following speech, GSA Executive Director, Tatsuo Okada explained the purpose behind next year's event.
"NPO Global Sports Alliance (GSA) was established in 1999 under the guidance of the Prince and Princess Takamado and has been active in tackling environmental problems through sports. From sporting events to school sports days, we have been increasing awareness about the importance of clean air and water, which are products of the natural ecosystem, as part of the 'Ecoflag Movement'. Included in these actions has been the development of a database on environmental action in sports and an environmental prize that rewards the best among them, known as G-ForSE.
Next year marks the fifth year since G-ForSE was established and is an important year for sports enthusiasts. 2005 has been nominated the International Year of Sports and Physical Education by the United Nations and is the first year of the UN International Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. It is also an important year for Japan as it marks the first International Expo of the 21st Century, this time being held in Aichi prefecture under a theme of "Nature's Wisdom". With so many events converging at the same time, 2005 can certainly be called the 'year of sports and the environment'.
In this important year the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition and the Chunichi Shimbun are sponsoring the Sports Summit for the Environment 2005. The event, which will feature a Sports and Environment Declaration signed by the leaders of international sporting federations, will follow on from the Magglingen Declaration signed in Switzerland last year, and pioneered by Mr. Adolf Ogi, Special United Nations Advisor on Sports for Development and Peace, and will forge a cooperation between the United Nations bodies, such as UNEP and UNESCO, and international sporting bodies. A Sports and Environment Declaration Book will be published containing this declaration, signed by the participants of the event, as well as individual environmental declarations gathered from sports organizations in Japan.
There has been a dramatic increase in environmental action among sporting organizations in Japan. Many sports facilities are already taking action to improve the environment and the JOC will be holding its first conference on sports and the environment on 19 November. More sporting goods manufacturers are seeking ISO 14001 certification and the idea of corporate social responsibility is taking hold. In this special year, the representatives of sports, educators and sports enthusiasts will come together and make a declaration to build a cleaner and greener society through the enjoyment of sports, for all our future generations. This is the purpose of the Sports Summit for the Environment 2005."