By Duncan Mackay in Sochi
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
June 5 - Dmitry Chernyshenko (pictured), the chief executive of Sochi 2014, and Anatoly Pakhomov, the city's Mayor, today planted trees here to mark World Environment Day and later signed a partnership agreement on environmental protection and volunteering programmes.
Sochi 2014 sponsors and volunteers also took part in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) "Billion Trees" campaign.
To mark World Environment Day, Sochi 2014, together with the Games Volunteer team, took part in UNEP’s world-wide “Billion Trees” campaign.
Sochi's environmental programme has come under fire from a number of groups since the city was awareded the Games by the International Olympic Committee in 2007 but Chernyshenko defended their record.
Chernyshenko said: "Sochi is at the heart of the development of environmental protection techniques - it is a platform for trialing innovative solutions and is setting new standards.
"Confirming our previous agreements with the administration of the city, we are bringing together the efforts of many parties, allowing us to deliver all our promises and make a substantial contribution to the environmental development of the region."
The environmental dimension of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is a priority for the organisations delivering the Games, claimed Chernyshenko, who signed the agreement with Pakhomov.
To emphasise its green credentials Sochi also used today's occasion to mark the arrival of an innovative railway carriage laboratory at the Sochi Central Railway Station.
The mobile laboratory carries out vital air quality monitoring using measuring apparatus outside the moving train.
The laboratory then evaluates the air for viruses, spores and harmful agents the results are then transmitted real-time to monitors inside the carriage.
The carriage laboratory has been created with expert assistance from the Institute for the Physics of the Atmosphere and A.M. Obukhov of the Russian Academy of Science and the Scientific Research Institute of Railway Transport.
It has received a commendation from Yuriy Trutnev, the Russian Minister of Nature Resources and Ecology, the Heads of Russian Railways and North Caucasus Railways and representatives from environmental organisations.
Russia currently has 10 similar railway laboratories, nine of which belong to Russian Railways. Under the terms of the new agreement, Sochi 2014 will be responsible for the strategy and control the general training progress of the volunteers while city will manage the on-the-scene training process.
Up to 10,000 volunteers will take part in the organisation of the events, welcoming sports delegations and providing guests with assistance as they explore the city.
A total of 35,000 volunteers will be recruited for the preparation and organisation of the Games.
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