16th May 2008

Congress on Sports & Environment brings new expertise for Olympic Bid

“Sports development and environmental protection go hand in hand and pursue a common goal: A better future for
the youth of the world,” said Ismayil Ismayilov, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan, at the press conference
after the congress on Friday, 16 May.

International experts, together with high-level delegates from the government, deliberated for more than 6 hours
on the ecological issues of sports venue planning and operation. The experienced specialists of mega events such
as the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens and the FIFA Football World Cup 2006 in Germany were in agreement: “To ensure
maximum political, financial and public support, ambitious environmental projects must be carried by momentous
occasions such as mega sports events.”

Considering the specific conditions, Baku affords a great opportunity to rehabilitate polluted areas and use renewable
resources for the development of sports infrastructure. Besides eco-friendly venue construction and an increased
share of public transport, the experts recommended setting up specific environmental guidelines for the operation of
the venues in terms of water, waste, energy and noise.

Especially the remediation and transformation of the former on-shore “Bibi Heybat” oilfield into a sustainable Olympic
Park calls for an “integrated environmental concept, from the planning and construction stage to the holding of the
event and sustainable post-event use,” said Goussein Bagirov, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. In his
summary he suggested intensifying the collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to promote and monitor
the joint effort in sports and the environment in Azerbaijan.