German Association Threatens Boycott Of Munich 2018

The Local reports the German Alpine Association (DAV) is threatening to boycott the Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2018 Winter Olympic Games bid unless it becomes more environmentally friendly. The DAV is reportedly the world’s largest mountain sports association with 851,000 members and is represented on the board of the joint bid.

DAV president Heinz Rohle said in Munich Monday that not only should the events themselves be planned with the environment in mind, but there should be a clear concept as to how the Games would affect the region once they are over.

Rohle said if there was no progress on this issue by the end of this year, the DAV would pull out of the bid.

He added, “the long term cooperation of the DAV is not unconditional”, indicating that the present environmental concept for the Games was no more than a “good statement of intent”. He said that among the problems was that traffic plans did not indicate a substantial role for public transport, and the bid wasn’t clear as to how much money would be made available for 18 ecological projects associated with the bid.

Rohle talked about the idea of a UNESCO biosphere reservation in the Ammergau Alps and an “ecological sports area” in the Bavarian Alps which the DAV had proposed. He said he wanted to see the Olympic Games create more nature reservations.

According to the Local, several environmental groups have already expressed concern about the bid which reportedly claims to have a “green agenda”. Three groups have stepped down from the bid’s environmental commission, including the Bavarian branch of the Nature Preservation Association (BN) because it no longer believes that the Olympics can be managed in an ecologically sustainable way.

Munich’s 2018 Mini Bid Book must be submitted to the International Olympic Committee by March.