IUCN event | 16 Dec, 2022

Sports for Nature: A new pathway for sports to achieve nature-positive action

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, along with IUCN and the United Nations Environment Programme, and support from the International Olympic Committee, will launch the first-ever Sports for Nature Framework, aimed at engaging sports organisations on nature. 

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Photo: IUCN

Sport, with its enormous reach and influence, reliance on the quality of our environment, and as a connector of people with nature, is in a unique and untapped position to galvanise the action the world needs.  The universal appeal and leadership role of sports have the potential to mobilise a vast network of athletes and audiences, including youth, business, civil society and local communities around the globe to act and promote successful examples of nature-positive action.

With broad principles and targets developed in consultation with sports, the Sports for Nature Framework will focus on supporting sporting organisations to define meaningful and specific targets on an individual basis depending on their footprint, experience, priorities and capacities.  These will include reportable actions, which could include: species conservation achievements, habitats protected and/or restored, mitigation of impacts, or documented behaviour change mobilised via outreach campaigns and communication.

By committing to the principles outlined in the Framework through a public letter to the Executive Secretary of the CBD Secretariat, sports organisations will each begin a journey to take measurable, science-based actions to advance their commitments to becoming nature-positive, which will contribute to global and national goals for biodiversity. All signatories to the Framework will also report back on their progress annually, against the key performance indicators outlined in the Framework. 

Parties to the CBD have an enormous role to play in facilitating the uptake of the Sports for Nature Framework, therefore, at least two Government Ministers will be invited to participate in this side event, hosted by the Executive Secretary of CBD with leaders from each of the organisations supporting the Framework. The event will showcase the first signatories to the Framework, including representatives from the International Olympic Committee and other sports organisations, confirming their support. In addition, we will invite world-class athletes and IUCN Patrons of Nature providing invaluable support for capacity building, training and outreach that will underpin the implementation of the Framework, as well as select sports champions calling for sports organisations to take action by signing up to the Framework.