Launch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Green Goal Action Plan – October 2008

Speaker: Lynne Brown

October 2008

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Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Helen Zille,
Members of the Standing Committee on Community Development,
Councillors,
Dr Werner Böhler of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS),
Members of the international community,
Officials of the Western Cape government,
Distinguished guests,
Media representatives,
Ladies and gentlemen,

OVER the years, the world’s foremost sporting events have planted seeds of ambition in the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of eager youngsters.

“Come on,” seems to be the message they spread. “You can play the game too.”

I’ve driven through townships the day after Ernie Els has won a golf tournament – and I’ve seen children with grimly determined expressions on their faces swinging 8 irons on courses fashioned out of sandy pieces of open veld.

I once saw a child practising a Fosbury Flop, using high jump apparatus made out of the branches of a tree.

And I’ve watched games of street cricket being contested with quite a bit more passion than your average match at Newlands.

But there’s one thing I’m certain of: neither golf nor athletics, nor cricket, nor any other sport can compete with football. No other sport has been able to fire the imagination of starry-eyed youngsters across the globe quite as successfully as “The Beautiful Game”.

Football gives youngsters a licence to dream. And the message it presents so effectively is: “If you work hard enough, YOU can make your dreams come true.”

And the wonderful thing is: it does.

There are numerous “Poor boy comes good” stories in football – and some of them even feature South Africans.

And that is why in every township in the Western Cape, every child who has ever kicked a ball, dreams of becoming the new Benni McCarthy, Sibusisu Zuma, Aaron Mokoena, or one of a host of other household names.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re here this morning to launch the 2010 FIFA World Cup Green Goal Action Plan.

Some of you may be wondering what does a tour of children’s sporting venues in the townships of the Western Cape have to do with heady matters such as Climate Change, Integrated Waste Management and Biodiversity?

And my answer would be: Everything.

To me, the coming World Cup must provide the conditions for our communities, wherever they may be, to take a giant leap forward from a mentality of hope – to a realization of opportunity.”

But to enable them to get there means that we will have join hands with them … and walk with them … every step of the way.

That’s what I call a real partnership.

And the key element of this partnership is community participation.
In the context of the World Cup, community participation revolves around the creation of opportunities … around who will be doing what … before, during and after … this wonderful event … and about spreading the message about the off-the-field greening and conservation activities that we have committed to putting into place.

“2010” must offer opportunities for participation to every South African – but especially to those South Africans with a long history of having been marginalized.

It is imperative therefore that the plans we will be telling you about this morning, are also shared with communities across our province.

We must show, through everything we do in the countdown to 2010, that the interventions we’re putting into place and the infrastructure that we’re providing belongs to Manenberg as much as it does to Mowbray … to Khayelitsha as much as it does to Kannaland … to Mossel Bay as much as it does to Mitchells Plain … to Saldanha Bay as much as it does to Stellenbosch … and to Gugulethu as much as it does to George.

It’s all about buy-in and taking ownership.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about the road we’ll be travelling over the next 640-plus days. First of all, it’s great to see a plan coming together – in the frantic movement of earth, brick and mortar, steel, asphalt and bitumen in our 2010 World Cup host cities and, indeed, in the host city Cape Town.

What’s been happening tells me that we’re on track to welcome the world to the showpiece, via a lineup of great stadiums, safe road networks and an efficient transport system.

And what has been wonderfully encouraging too is that all the infrastructural changes to our built environment are being underpinned by sustainable development principles.

To put it in simple English: all the construction work that has been undertaken at Green Point Stadium and in the vicinity of the stadium – and all the work that has been carried out on our roads – have gone through rigorous environmental and planning processes, in which public participation has been robust, sometimes uncomfortably so for the various arms of government.

But I think we’ve passed the test.

When we started putting together our processes for the World Cup, we acknowledged that the much-needed sporting and public venues, as well as the hospitality and transport infrastructure, would change the appearance of the City of Cape Town and, indeed, other parts of our province.

Change is always frightening for some – and many people believed that the changes that were being spoken about would be unbefitting for a City with as rich a history as ours.

All of us were aware of the risks – and the possibilities.

But all of us – in national, provincial and local government, and in civil society – vowed from the outset that we would see it as a sacred duty to safeguard the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful province.

It was for this reason that we gave the assurance during the countdown to ”2010” that every change we made to our built environment would touch the earth lightly – and that these changes would have a minimal negative environmental impact … but would provide maximum socio-economic opportunities and benefits.

I think we’ve been true to our words.

Our tack has been that the hosting of a mega event such as the FIFA World Cup requires what we like to describe as a triple bottom-line approach – an approach where environmental integrity, social equity and economic growth guides our planning and implementation.

We have promised to make this event a success and to leave a lasting positive legacy … including a green legacy.

And this morning’s launch will take us a step further along this route.

In one of his addresses, the indefatigable Dr Danny Jordaan said: “The World Cup is not just about infrastructure; it is also about nation-building”.

I agree.

But I would like to add another sentence to his sentiments: “Let’s build a nation that is also environmentally conscious.”

The hosting of the World Cup offers us a unique opportunity to spread the message of environmental safety across all communities in our rapidly changing world.

We cannot afford to continue along our present road of over-use and over-consumption of our natural resources.

World Cup 2010 provides a unique platform to galvanize governments, civil society, and local and international partners into action through the implementation of the Green Goal Action Plan.

The development of the plan is the result of cooperation between officials of the Province and the City, through the work of an Environmental Sustainability Work stream, which hosted a series of workshops and discussion forums

This was all made possible by the sterling support and sponsorship provided by the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

The KAS brought together various environmental and communication experts, some international experts, LOC and national environmental officials, who then combined their thoughts into a concise action plan.

This plan seeks to build on and extend this cooperation between spheres of government, business, communities, local and international donors and institutions in a sustained programme of action targeting critical and strategic areas.

The overall aim is to leave a lasting positive environmental legacy beyond 2010 for residents of Cape Town and the Western Cape.

The areas that have been targeted to provide a significantly green profile for the World Cup are:

  • Energy and climate change;
  • Water;
  • Integrated Waste Management;
  • Transport, mobility and access;
  • Landscaping and biodiversity;
  • Green building and sustainable lifestyles;
  • Sustainable tourism;
  • Green communications; and
  • Monitoring, measurement and reporting

All of the above fit in comfortably with the Western Cape’s Growth and Development Strategy and the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development Plan.

The “green baton” that was passed on to us from Germany, the 2006 tournament hosts, and the pioneers of the first-ever green FIFA World Cup, will not be dropped by team South Africa, particularly team members from the Western Cape and Host City Cape Town.

The assistance from German organizations, such as the Oke Institute and KAS, has made it possible for a smooth handing over of this “baton”.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to elaborate on some key target areas that the Green Goal Action Plan will focus on:

ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
We are deeply conscious of the need to conserve energy by being more efficient in managing this resource.

Since industry and transport account for 80 percent of energy consumption in the Western Cape, we decided to focus strongly on developing more efficient modes of transport and transport systems.

The hospitality industry – and the accommodation sector in particular – has also been identified as a key participant in profiling a green 2010 World Cup.

An analysis of the 2006 World Cup highlighted transport as the major contributor to carbon emissions. Given that South Africa and Host City Cape Town will be receiving the FIFA family and World Cup fans from long haul destinations, we expect the carbon footprint to be considerably larger than in the case of Germany.

Since Climate Change contributes to poverty, we need to find ways to offset this footprint.

WATER
Ladies and gentlemen, there has always been a scarcity of water in South Africa – and Climate Change has compounded the problem.

Even though we had an abundance of rainfall during the past winter season, we will continue to have intermittent periods of heavy wet seasons, followed by long dry spells, dominated by increased fires and drought.

The Green Goal Action Plan makes provision for finding alternative sustained sources of water to irrigate the Green Point Common, which incorporates the Urban Park and the Green Point Stadium.

Water, like energy, is the single biggest driver of economic growth. It also important for the proper functioning of human development and the functioning of our ecosystem.

“2010” offers us an ideal opportunity to draw our citizens, business sectors and visitors into efforts to save water.

We hope that accommodation establishments will help us to distribute this message.

INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT

In Germany in 2006, Coca Cola and McDonalds led the way in setting up recycling processes that helped to reduce waste.

They did this by forming strong partnerships with business sectors, communities, institutions, NGOs, official FIFA sponsors and authorities.

“2010” offers us excellent platform from which to launch the new National Waste Bill, which should be enacted by then, and which act as a spur to the recycling economy in the Western Cape.

A strong anti-littering and waste minimization awareness campaign, focused on youth, will provide us with the building blocks to build a society that manages its resources efficiently.

It is worth remembering too that there is money to be made out of recycling.

BIODIVERSITY
The Western Cape boasts some of the most diverse and species-rich ecosystems on Earth. This includes the Cape Floristic Region, one of the world’s six floral kingdoms and the only one contained within the borders of a single country, and the Succulent Karoo Region.

Most of the biodiversity in the Western Cape – 9,600 species of fynbos, 11,000 species of marine animals and 800 species of seaweeds – is found nowhere else on earth.

These natural “treasures” bring visitors to our shores and contribute to the tourism sector of our economy, by providing much-needed economic activity.

The beautification of our province and city through the use of indigenous vegetation will contribute to the awareness of our unique biodiversity.

I am pleased that students will play a role in the landscaping and urban design around “2010”. I believe that it is important to involve youth in the sustainable processes that will ensure our World Cup legacy.

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

Ladies and gentlemen, tourism is the largest and fastest growing industry in the world and its environmental impact is substantial, especially in terms of water, energy and natural space consumption, as well as waste generation.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup provides a unique opportunity to leave a positive environmental legacy.

Sustainable tourism seeks to limit the impact on the environment and local cultures, while helping to generate income, employment and conservation of local eco-systems. Increased growth in tourism, partly driven by the World Cup, means that more of the natural environment will be exposed to the impact of tourism – both positively and negatively.

As a result of increased global awareness, people are seeking “tourism products” that minimize their ecological and carbon footprints.

Initiatives such as the Environmental Accreditation System for the Hospitality Accommodation sector, highlighted in the Action Plan, should be embraced by the entire sector.

The Green passport and Responsible tourism awareness projects are great complementary initiatives that will target the tourism industry role players, and further strengthen the environmental legacy.

Distinguish guests, I have highlighted the key targeted areas that I believe will make a positive impact in greening this mega event and leave a lasting environmental legacy.

However, the success of this venture lies in forming partnerships, raising awareness and effectively communicating our messages.

The greening of “2010” be the responsibility of everyone – fans, corporate citizens and vendors.

I believe that the commitment, determination and hard work of all partners will ensure the success and lasting environmental, socio-economic legacy that will be passed on to the people of Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Thank you very much

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