Today morning, at the headquarters of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) in Rabat, the Eighth Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers (ICEM), kicked off under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco. the Conference is held by ISESCO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the theme “The Role of Cultural and Religious Factors in the Protection of the Environment and Sustainable Development”.
During the opening session, Mr. Mohamed Laaraj, Minister of Culture and Communication of the Kingdom of Morocco, read out the royal message addressed by King Mohammed VI to the Conference. Afterwards, addresses were given by Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ISESCO Director General; Mr. Aziz Rabbah, Vice-President of the Eighth ICEM session, Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development of Morocco; Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); and Her Royal Highness Princess Soumaya bint Al-Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
This session also featured the award ceremony of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World (KSAAEM – 2018/2019), during which Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Tariki, President of KSAAEM Higher Committee, General President of the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave his address. 17 winners from 13 Islamic countries received the Award, divided into the Award’s five categories: best research works in the field of environmental management, best practices in the field of environmental management in the public sector in Member States, best practices in the field of environmental management in the private sector in Member States, best leading practices in the field of environmental management in NGOs that can be replicated in Member States, and best environmentally-friendly Muslim cities.
The opening session brought together a number of ministers from of the Moroccan Government, Environment Ministers from OIC Member States or their delegates, Chairman of ISESCO Executive Council, Director General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Rabat, representatives of many regional and international organizations, political and academic figures, and representatives of the local, Islamic and international media outlets.
It is worth noting that the Conference will discuss a number of reports and draft documents pertaining to the issues of the environment and sustainable development in the Islamic world, namely the Report of the 5th Meeting of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment; Report on ISESCO’s Efforts in the Fields of Environment and Sustainable Development between the 7th and 8th Sessions of the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers; and the Progress Report on the Creation of the Islamic Academy for the Environment and Sustainable Development. The Conference will also discuss the Report on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World (KSAAEM); the Report on the Programme of the Celebration of the Islamic World Environmentally-Friendly Capitals; and the Report on the Executive Action Plan for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Member States.
Likewise, the Conference will also review the following projects and documents: the Project of the Establishment of the Islamic Network for Environmental Action and Sustainable Development; Draft Strategy for the Promotion 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.
The statements and reports of the heads of delegation of Member States and international organizations will be also presented, the members of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment elected; and the date and venue of the 9th Conference session set.
The Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers holds its 8th session 17 years after its first, held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in June 2002, which laid the ground for joint Islamic action in the field of environment by adopting the founding document entitled “Jeddah Commitments for Sustainable Development”.