A mega event such as the FIFA World Cup can leave an enormous carbon footprint on the world. That is why South Africa has set out since the beginning of the 2010 World Cup to ensure a more environmentally friendly tournament with the Green Goal programme.
More than 450 000 tourists have already entered South Africa since June 11. More people and more cars in cities mean more carbon emissions, a greater usage of electricity and water and more waste. Resources were also stretched to build stadiums.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s website the Green Goal programme initiative is a result of a partnership between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
The initiative includes three major greening projects: renewable energy interventions in six World Cup host cities, an awareness-raising drive on green tourism and a UNEP programme to offset the carbon emissions of eleven World Cup teams.
Also part of the Green Goal initiative is the Green Passport project. The Green Passport is an international campaign to educate tourist on how to contribute towards sustainable development by making responsible holiday choices. It has been specifically adapted to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
The Green Passport website shares information on where to stay, what to eat, how to get around and what to see and do in the host cities. In this way it “promotes tourism that respects the environment and cultures while triggering economic benefits and social development for the host communities”.
According to this website each of the host cities have their own greening projects for the World Cup.
Pedestrian areas have been created in the central business district and 2000 trees were planted.
The city launched a comprehensive Green Goal programme. The Cape Town Green Map shows the city’s green spaces and businesses that practice fair trade. Two recycling “drop off” facilities have been created to take care of waste from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In Soweto 200 000 trees have been planted, including more than 82 400 indigenous trees as part of the programme to green the township.
The rural community of the Mbombela Municipality are being educated and empowered to be responsible for the condition of their surrounding environment. Green-focused community businesses are being supported.
Forest areas are being restored and replanted in the eThekwini Municipal Area.
Tour guides, accommodation owners, taverners, etc. were trained on responsible tourism practices and working with local crafters on the development of sustainable products and services.
The Polokwane Parks Department has successfully implemented, and is operating a waste composting facility.
A pamphlet that provides information on climate change and waste management and what people can do in their everyday lives to make a difference has been circulated in schools throughout Rustenburg.
City of Tshwane (Pretoria):
New parks have been developed with a soccer theme and the city intends to plant a tree for every goal scored in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.