"Environmental recognition, received by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee today, is proving that we have been able to create the necessary conditions for environmental protection programs development."
On the occasion of World Environment Day (5 June) in Sochi, several projects have been launched by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, including an important initiative to save the Nikolsky turtles, which have faced near extinction in the past decades. Other initiatives comprised a united effort to clean and develop the nature trails around Sochi by the Sochi 2014 employees, partners and volunteers.
Additionally, the environmental management system (EMS) of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee was recognized for its environmental activities and was awarded a certificate of conformity to high international standards ISO 14001.
An EMS is a system for managing a business or an organization, which makes it possible to establish necessary conditions to implement environmental protection programs and to conform to international environmental standards. In 1996, the International Standards Organization (ISO) adopted the first basic standards for environmental management, known as ISO 14001.
The President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, noted:
"Environmental recognition, received by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee today, is proving that we have been able to create the necessary conditions for environmental protection programs development. This once again confirms the organizers' aspiration to create a "green" legacy that will remain long after the Games for generations to come”.
The "Attention to the Turtle!" initiative was also launched on World Environment Day at the Sochi Environmental and Biological Centre, with the support of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the Sochi branch of the Russian Geographic Society.
This is one of several special environmental initiatives from the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. It was developed to promote the conservation of biodiversity in the region hosting the Games. The project is aimed at restoring the population of the rare Mediterranean Nikolsky turtles, which have existed on Earth for 200 million years ago, and in recent decades have been in danger of extinction.
The staff of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee along with the Sochi Branch of the Russian Geographic Society and Sochi 2014 volunteers, distributed hundreds of leaflets to residents and guests of the resort town, with a call to report to environmentalists and specialists about the location of any turtles of this species found. The Environmental and Biological Centre has been equipped with aquariums, where any saved turtles will be housed. The centre’s staff and volunteers will be responsible for taking care of the turtles.
On World Environment Day, numerous eco-awareness events were held in other Russian cities, with the support of numerous volunteers from ten Sochi 2014 Volunteer Training Centres.