For the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011, FIFA is engaged in a programme that is raising public awareness on environmental issues and implementing a reforestation project in the Colombian Andes region.
Earlier in the year, FIFA teamed up with the Colombian Football Association, the Office of the President of Colombia’s Senior Environmental Policy Counsellor, the Ministry of Environment in Colombia and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Colombia, to create an environmental programme to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of staging the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2011.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said: “As proud organisers of the U-20 World Cup, we are very pleased that FIFA supports these environmental projects as part of its social responsibility. Therefore, we have taken this project on as our own.”
Inspired by the success of previous environmental programmes at various FIFA World Cups, the project partners developed a public awareness campaign for spectators at the tournament in Colombia.
Moreover, a reforestation project will be carried out in the Colombian Andes region. With the planting of more than 35,000 trees over the next two years, this project will not only allow the compensation of 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide but also provide a livelihood to local communities.
Integrated into the countrywide reforestation programme of the Colombian government, this investment is expected to have a long lasting impact and leave a legacy extending beyond the tournament.
“We are delighted by the opportunity to develop this environmental programme together with the Colombian government, WWF and COLFUTBOL”, said Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility. ”It is very important for FIFA to have local partners to develop environmental programmes that are adapted to the local situation. This ensures the viability of the programme and its impact can stretch beyond the tournament itself.”
The President of the Colombian Football Federation, Luis Bedoya, said: “The Colombian Football Federation and the national government, via the Ministry of Environment, have joined forces in order to think and act in an environmentally responsible manner throughout this sporting event, which marks the most important of its kind in the history of our country.”