Verena Burk called sustainability "a topic of outstanding importance" ©FISU

The International University Sports Federation (FISU) World Forum has opened in Costa Rica, with sustainable development this year's theme.

"This is a topic of outstanding importance worldwide in and outside sport," FISU Education Committee chair Verena Burk said at the opening in Cartago.

"In order to preserve global resources in the long term, sustainability should be the basis of all political decisions - also in sport."

The week-long event has attracted 160 participants from 45 countries.

They are due to take part in workshops and activities, some of which will be tied in to the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Winter World University Games.

Billed as an opportunity for cultural exchange, the FISU World Forum can also be followed remotely.

As well as speeches, today's Opening Ceremony also featured dance.

"The aim of FISU and the FISU World Forum with regard to the topic of sustainability is to encourage its member associations and universities to develop sustainability strategies and projects of their own," Burk added.

"FISU wants to inspires current leaders and leaders of tomorrow to leave a positive impact on communities worldwide through university sport which can be maintained for generations to come."

FISU has signed up to the United Nations' Sports for Climate Action Framework and insists that sustainability is an important pillar of its Strategy 2027 document, as well as the Healthy Campus scheme.