The Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, in an address he delivered today morning at ISESCO headquarters, at the opening of the Eighth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers, reaffirmed that the blue planet is not all right because it endures a massive destruction of its ecosystem. He added that natural resources have been polluted, the habitats of plant and animal species degraded and the people who have been displaced by drought and natural disasters outnumbered refugees of wars and racial conflicts. If this situation persists, ISESCO Director General warns, about 700 million people, mostly from the Islamic world, will be forced to flee their areas by 2030.
Moreover, Dr. AlMalik stated that reliable reports issued by specialized institutions and bodies disclose horrible figures and awful facts about climate change raising real concerns about the warming of the planet and pointing to brewing disasters and tragic effects for natural resources, particularly as the number of disasters have soared from 599 disasters in 2002 to 1100 in 2017.
In this context, ISESCO Director General wondered about the usefulness of international conventions on climate as long as superpowers are responsible for the largest share of gas emissions that cause global warming, do not honor their commitments to the international community with regards to a human issue such as this one, and absolve themselves of the legal responsibilities they have committed themselves to at Paris Summit, amid the prevalence of short-term interests driven by the commercial and industrial greed.
“Despite the contemporary environmental crisis, our hope lies with Allah and our great Islamic world, our hope resides in joining our efforts, our hope resides in joint action inside and outside the Islamic world. We also hope that serious and quality initiatives be taken to protect and preserve the environment”, ISESCO Director General concluded.
In the same vein, Dr. AlMalik reaffirmed ISESCO’s willingness to cooperate in developing action programmes with any initiative from the Member States of the Islamic world and that ISESCO has taken upon itself to fully become an eco-friendly institution following international regulations and standards in the operation of its daily work and activities carried out with Member and non-Member States.
It is worthy to note that the Conference agenda features the examination of a number of reports and draft documents relevant to the issues of the environment and sustainable development in the Islamic world. They include the Report of the Fifth Meeting of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment; the Report on ISESCO’s Efforts in the Fields of the Environment and Sustainable Development between the Seventh and Eighth Sessions of Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers; the Progress Report on the Creation of the Islamic Academy for the Environment and Sustainable Development; the Report on the KSA Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World; the Report on the Celebration of the Environment-Friendly Islamic Capitals; and ISESCO’s Report on the Executive Action Plan for Natural Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management in Member States.
As for the projects, the Conference will examine the establishment of a joint Islamic Network for Sustainable Development; the Draft Strategy for the Activation of the Role of Cultural and Religious Factors in Protecting the Environment and Achieving Sustainable Development in the Islamic World; and the Draft Guidance Document on Strengthening the Role of Youth and Civil Society in the Protection of the Environment and Achievement of Sustainable Development in the Islamic World.
The Conference will also witness the delivery of the statements and reports of heads of delegations, the election of the members of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment and the fixing of the date and venue for the Ninth session.
The eighth session of the Conference is held seventeen years after the first session in 2002 in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which laid the foundations for joint Islamic action in the field of the environment by adopting a founding document titled “Jeddah Commitments for Sustainable Development”.