A new guide published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), identifies key ecological criteria that city officials and sports venue developers can apply to incorporate the needs of nature in their planning.
Investing in nature and nature-based solutions is an important pathway to address the current ecological crisis. The loss of biodiversity, with around one million animal and plant species threatened with extinction, is putting at risk our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide. Diverse and innovative measures are needed to reverse this decline and to restore healthy ecosystems. The magnitude of the challenge calls for the collaboration and contribution of all actors, including non-state actors, such as businesses, local authorities, civil society organisations, and individual citizens. Sports and urban biodiversity identifies the opportunities for sports federations and sport venue owners and operators to develop the seven elements essential for supporting nature in cities. Case studies from Europe, North America, Australia and South Africa capture the biodiversity actions taken by a variety of sports, from Olympic city planning to local projects at stadiums and practice facilities. These examples also reveal ways in which improvements to urban biodiversity elements can offer a better sporting experience for event participants and spectators.