Rio 2016: Green Passport Initiative encourages sustainable tourism

Spectators at the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics Games can make sure their visit does not harm Brazil’s environment by trying out the easy-to-follow eco-tips and environmentally friendly itineraries devised through a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) backed green tourism campaign.

Tourism accounts for five per cent of global CO2 emissions and projections show that, unless we action now, emissions could triple by 2035.

Under the motto ‘I Take Care of My Destination,’ the Rio Green Passport initiative is advising visitors on how to reduce their impact on the environment while also making their stay more interesting and relaxing. Travel tips range from how to reduce your luggage and minimise your local transport needs, to engaging with the South American country’s lively culture.

Available on the web and via a free smartphone app, the information includes crafted itineraries that will help locals as well as foreigners discover Rio, the five cities hosting Olympic soccer and other destinations around Brazil in an authentic and low-impact way.

The Green Passport Rio 2016 Edition is part of a major effort by the organisers of the Games to reduce the impact of the mammoth 17-day event, which is expected to draw up to one million foreign guests. Previous international sports events have been criticized for a legacy of environmental degradation and inappropriate infrastructure.

For Rio 2016, the Organizing Committee headquarters and many other facilities at the Games are temporary structures that will be dismantled and recycled afterward.