Istanbul 2020 will plant one tree for each delegate attending the United Nations Forum of Forests in Istanbul. The number of trees planted in Istanbul since 2011 will reach more than one million after the Forum of Forests.
Just weeks after hosting the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission in the city, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan provided an opening speech for the UN Forum.
Istanbul 2020’s bid plan outlined its strategy to keep in line with having a low-carbon future, as Istanbul is a C-Forty Climate City. The plans also coincide with Turkey’s Master Plan for 2023, which calls for advancements in environmental protection, energy, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban development, accessibility, and social inclusion.
Land reclamation and historical preservation, climate and clean energy, education and engagement, and public access and clean water are the four main environmental priorities touched upon in the Istanbul 2020 Candidature File for the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Turkey’s commitment to sustainable development and Istanbul’s growing role as a centre for discussion in recent years makes it the ideal location to host the 10th edition of the United Nations Forum of Forests,” Istanbul 2020 Chairman Hasan Arat said. “The planting of one million trees for the 9th UN Forum of Forests, and the further planting of trees for each attendee this year, shows the Turkish government’s commitment to the environment – which is one of the key pillars of the Istanbul 2020 legacy plan.
“Turkey’s experience and financial stability will ensure that the environmental intitiatives planned for the Games have a lasting and meaningful legacy for the city, the nation, the region and the entire Olympic Movement.”
The United Nations Forum of Forests has only been held outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York once before – in Istanbul. Delegations from 197 countries will be in attendance at the Forum.
“We plan, through hosting the Games in 2020, to drive our young population to take pride in Istanbul’s unique ecological diversity and to become environmental leaders for young people around the world,” IOC member and National Olympic Committee of Turkey President Ugur Erdener said. “We hope, through hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to become a positive global example of sustainable development.”