The site, Grushevy Ridge, is a conservation border area legally
protected from being built on because of its importance to wildlife
and nature. Greenpeace Russia is calling on the Sochi-2014
organising committee, state corporation Olympstroy, which is in
charge of constructing the venues and related infrastructure, and
the International Olympic Committee to build the Games' Olympic
Village and luge-bobsleigh route in an area not under threat.
In its Sochi 2014 - UNEP Mission Report, released today,
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (1) announced it
"encourage[s] the partners in the Russian Federation and the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) to look into the suitability
of alternative locations. Our view is that the currently planned
location may compromise other efforts to ensure the Games are
The Grushevy Ridge is important for a number of rare and
endangered species, among which are the West Caucasian chamois and
West Caucasian tur, listed as endangered on the 2007 International
Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species
(2). The site borders the Western Caucasus UNESCO World Heritage
Site, including the Caucasus State Biosphere Nature Reserve.
"It is crucial the Russian authorities and IOC recognise the
need to protect Russia's precious wild habitat and move the Winter
Olympics away from the Grushevy Ridge. We are eager to help the
Olympic authorities find a site that will not threaten wildlife and
promote environmentalism for the Olympic Games in 2014," Andrey
Petrov, Greenpeace Russia World Heritage Program Coordinator
Greenpeace Russia, WWF-Russia and Transparent World, a
non-commercial partnership, have proposed 16 alternative sites for
the Olympic Village and luge-bobsleigh route. All conform to the
International Luge and International Bobsleigh and Skeleton
Federations' requirements, and would not damage the
Despite sending details of alternative sites to the Sochi-2014
Organising Committee on 22 February, the Committee failed to
forward them to the respective sporting federations and IOC. This
is despite an agreement to do so following a round table meeting in
January (3). Greenpeace Russia met the IOC in Sochi on 23 April,
and submitted the list of alternative sites directly.
During an IOC Coordinating Commission visit to Sochi in April,
the Russian authorities declared no venue would be changed.
Greenpeace hopes the UN Environmental Programme's recommendations
will change this decision and encourage the International Olympic
Committee to consider alternative sites that take environmental
impact into account.
Other contacts: Andrey Petrov, Greenpeace Russia World Heritage Program Coordinator, +7 903 739 49 62Vera Bakasheva, Greenpeace Russia Press Officer, +7 903 219 32 87
Notes: (1) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the official consultant to the International Olympic Committee on questions of environmental protection in preparation of and during the 2014 Olympic Games. In February 2008, the Government of the Russian Federation invited the UNEP to meet Russian authorities and the Sochi-2014 Organising Committee to discuss ways of supporting efforts to minimise the environmental impact of the 2014 Olympics. As a result, UNEP’s executive director sent a delegation to Moscow and Sochi from 7-10 April to visit proposed venues and establish whether it could contribute to efforts to make the 2014 Olympic Games environmental. (2) See http://www.iucnredlist.org/info/introduction for the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. (3) The NGO Green Patrol organised a meeting between environmental organisations, including Greenpeace Russia, and Sochi-2014 Organising Committee, Olympstroy and the Ministry of Natural Resources on 23 January 2008. It was agreed the Committee would forward NGO recommendations to the respective Olympic bodies.