Tokyo 2020: IOC to plant 355,000 trees in Africa to offset carbon use

An image of trees in Mali
355,000 trees will be planted across 90 villages in Mali and Senegal

A project to plant an “Olympic Forest” in Mali and Senegal has been announced by the International Olympic Committee.

It is part of the Great Green Wall initiative, which restores degraded landscapes in Africa’s Sahel region.

The IOC expects to plant 355,000 native trees across 90 villages in Mali and Senegal – host of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026.

“The Olympic movement is about building a better world through sport,” the IOC said.

“The Olympic Forest is an example of that.”

The organisation has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 30% by 2024, and by 45% by 2030.

“Addressing climate change is one of the IOC’s top priorities, and we are fully committed to reducing our emissions in line with the Paris Agreement,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.

“The Olympic Forest will support communities in Mali and Senegal by increasing their climate resilience, food security and income opportunities, and will help the IOC become climate positive already by 2024.”

The project is expected to cut 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions which is more than the IOC’s estimated return for the 2021-2024 period.

Paris 2024 has recently announced its ambition to stage the first climate-positive Games.