Laureus launches Sport for Good Environmental Action Toolkit

Laureus has today launched a new Sport for Good Environmental Action Toolkit to coincide with Earth Day 2021.
The toolkit was unveiled as part of an online event that featured Laureus Sport for Good Chief Executive Adam Fraser alongside Award winners of the Green Challenge (Fundacion Colombianitos) and Sport for Climate Action Collective Impact (I Am Water).
In recognition of the urgency and importance of addressing climate change across all sectors, Laureus has committed to doing its part, and has signed on to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Sport for Climate Action Framework.
As part of this commitment, Laureus will be undertaking significant efforts internally to render office operations, events, communications and executive functions more environmentally friendly. Laureus will also endeavour to source and share relevant resources to assist grantee organisations with their own efforts to become more environmentally sustainable, starting with this Environmental Action Toolkit.
Laureus World Sports Academy Member Mike Horn is revered by many as the world’s greatest modern-day explorer and the South African-born Swiss adventurer emphasised the importance of learning about nature and environmental issues.
Laureus Academy Member Mike Horn
He commented: “Over the past three decades I’ve seen first hand the impact of climate change and we cannot continue to sit back and make decisions at the detriment of our planet. 
“During my Arctic crossing expedition via the north pole in 2019, it was noticeable how much thinner the ice was than usual because of climate change, meaning it was more prone to drift. The adventure was followed by millions of people around the world and I think it was a real turning point in making people aware of the implications of global warming.
“After the expedition I was invited to Davos to speak to global leaders at the World Economic Forum about the changes in the Arctic Ocean. I think that shows the power of sharing in real time.
“Education is the key to ensuring long-lasting changes are introduced globally and this Environmental Action Toolkit will provide integral learning resources for Laureus and the many programmes that it supports. If we all connect and do something together then we can lead the change.
Laureus recognises that sport and Sport for Development, despite great advances in recent years, still has some way to go before it is an environmentally sustainable sector.
By becoming a signatory to the Sport for Climate Action Framework, we recognise the critical need for sport and Sport for Development organisations, associations, and institutions around the globe to help implement the Paris Agreement on climate change. As a sector, we must play our part to accelerate the transformative change needed to reach greenhouse gas emission neutrality in the second half of this century. 
Together with the Sport Ecology Group, the toolkit will act as internal guidance for all Laureus operations as well as for giving tips and practical recommendations to partners and other organisations. We believe that our best chance of enhancing the climate change agenda in our sector is by working collaboratively with our partners to implement the principles enshrined in the Sport for Climate Action Framework.
This is particularly pertinent with evidence of climate change already apparent in 
the hotter global mean temperature, rising sea level, warming ocean (which is making storm activity, such as hurricanes and typhoons, more frequent and severe), extended droughts, wildfire activity, and more.
A key aim of Horn’s latest expedition trekking hundreds of miles at the North Pole was to collect data on the Arctic ice melt, a key factor that scientists attribute to global warming. 
Through his Young Explorers Programme, Horn has also taken with him young adults from every continent on various sections of his journey around the world to discover the importance of nature and to learn about key ecological issues.
Horn continued: “It’s crucial that children are taught about climate change from an early age and that they are encouraged to take on the responsibility of protecting our planet.
“From working with young people on various expeditions over the years I’ve seen just how intuitive and curious they are and by having the right learning tools in place, adults will be able to answer the tough questions that they have.
“Conversations around climate change should provide young people with the opportunity to exercise their own voice on behalf of their generation’s future.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and the onus is on everyone to do their bit in promoting greater environmental responsibility.”
Laureus Sport for Good supports more than 200 programmes in over 40 countries and one common theme is that the children and young people see the world changing every day, underlining the importance of the protection of the environment and climate.
Together with our Global Partner, Mercedes-Benz, for the first time we invited the young participants of Laureus’ partner programmes worldwide to describe in a short video message how to make their communities more environmentally sustainable.
In their contributions to the ‘Laureus Green Challenge’, they described the challenges they are facing in their everyday life, and they described what they would do to make the situation around them a little better.
The winner of the Award was Fundación Colombianitos, with their Young Reforesters and Recyclers of Peace project presented by a group of five community leaders from the Colombian programme.
A field trip to identify the environmental challenges faced by their community of Laguna Azul in Ubalá, Colombia, inspired them to submit the proposal, with a focus on two key issues, land erosion and the lack of recycling facilities. Despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, they succeeded in delivering their project and were awarded the €10,000 prize to implement their proposal.

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