Istanbul 2020’s green credentials will be enhanced this week as a tree will be planted for each delegate attending the 10th edition of the United Nations Forum on Forests in Istanbul - adding to more than a million trees planted in the city since 2011.
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has given his total support to Istanbul 2020, provided the opening speech for the UN Forum just a few weeks after he hosted the IOC Evaluation Commission at a keynote reception in the city.
As a C-Forty Climate City, Istanbul 2020 is working to develop renewable energy sources to support a low-carbon future. The bid’s plans are closely aligned to Turkey’s Master Plan for 2023, which includes plans for advancements in environmental protection, energy, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban development, accessibility and social inclusion.
Istanbul 2020’s commitment to the environment is outlined in its Candidature File, which details four key priorities:
- Land reclamation and historical preservation
- Climate and clean energy
- Education and engagement
- Public access and clean water.
Plans for a greener Olympic Games would begin with Istanbul 2020’s Olympic City Zone, which the bid hopes would become a catalyst for the transition to sustainable and lowcarbon development in Turkey more generally.
Chairman of the Istanbul 2020 bid, Hasan Arat, commented on the city hosting the UN Forum: “Turkey’s commitment to sustainable development and Istanbul’s growing role as a centre for discussion in recent years makes it the ideal location to host the 10th edition of the United Nations Forum on Forests. The planting of one million trees for the 9th UN Forum on Forests, and the further planting of trees for each attendee this year, shows the Turkish government’s commitment to the environment - which is one of the key pillars of the Istanbul 2020 legacy plan. Turkey’s experience and financial stability will ensure that the environmental initiatives planned for the Games have a lasting and meaningful legacy for the city, the nation, the region and the entire Olympic Movement.”
IOC member and President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, Ugur Erdener, talked about the bid’s legacy plans in more detail: “We plan, through hosting the Games in 2020, to drive our young population to take pride in Istanbul’s unique ecological diversity and to become environmental leaders for young people around the world. We hope, through hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to become a positive global example of sustainable development.”The 10th UN Forum on Forests in Istanbul will involve high level delegations from 197 countries worldwide; Istanbul is the only city to have hosted the UNFF outside of the UN headquarters in New York, underpinning Istanbul’s growing status as a centre for diplomatic discussion.