The 2009 World Conference on Sport and the Environment kicks off in Vancouver today, marking the first time that the biennial conference will be held on North American soil.

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Gilbert Felli, the Olympic Games’ executive director for the International Olympic Committee, will be among the speakers.

The two-day conference, held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations Environment Programme, brings together athletes, sporting-federation representatives and environmental organizations.