Bike4SDGs, the traditional 3rd sequential annual bicycle ride in support of the Sustainable Development Goals was held with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Belarus.
The April 29 event agenda included a 21-kilometre bicycle race, kayaking, excursions to natural and historical/cultural heritage sites, miscellaneous folk craft master classes and other entertainment events.
Five days and almost 300 kilometres down the road, the final race in the Belavežskaya Pušča National Park gathered about 400 people: representatives of UNDP, ministries and agencies, NGOs, diplomatic missions, international organizations, mass media, persons with disabilities and general public.
Mr Anatoly Lis, Chairman of the Brest Regional Executive Committee greeted the athletes amassing at the starting line and spoke about the substantial assistance provided by UNDP to social, environmental and economic projects both in Brest Region and throughout Belarus; he expressed his appreciation of the efforts made by all participants of the Bike4SDGs campaign: "Today is the final day of the bicycle ride. It bears evidence that we care about nature not in words only. It is no secret that motor vehicles account for 75% of environmental emissions. By holding this event, we demonstrate alternative means of transport, such as e-cars and bicycles that are both eco-friendly and support human development and health improvement."
In his speech, Mr. Sanaka Samarasinha, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus, expressed his gratitude to Mr. Anatoly Lis for hosting Bike4SDGs in Belavežskaya Pušča and explained the importance of pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals on an ongoing basis and mentioned that he had been very happy to work in Belarus: "Having worked in this country as the UNDP Resident Representative for five and a half years, I cannot think of a better place than this, and better people than you, those who are around me now, when I am doing my job in Belarus."
The organizers read out from the stage the words of support to the participants from Ms Marianna Shchotkina, National Focal Point for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, who, being unable to attend the event in person, passed her sincere wishes of positive emotions and vivid memories of the mass sports event.
In additions to officials of the regional executive committee and UNDP, the cavalcade was led by Alexander Korbut, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection; Ambassador of Venezuela José Boggiano, UK Ambassador Fionna Gibb, Ambassador of Sweden Christina Johannesson, et al.
The Bike4SDGs participants were able to learn about UNDP activities in Belarus in more detail at an exhibition of UNDP projects with a major contribution of the Removing Barriers to Wind Power Development in Belarus Project.
The sports festival was concluded with a concert at the Tsar's Meadow of Belavežskaya Pušča.
News materials on the event were prepared by various media, including: