The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, has said that the challenges of environmental degradation, climate change, water, food and energy security require a coordinated national, regional and international response.
Al-Othaimeen made the comment during his opening remarks at the 8th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers (ICEM) at the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) headquarters in Rabat, Morocco, on Oct. 2-3.
He said that historically the contribution of OIC countries to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming had been negligible but these nations were among the most vulnerable to climate change.
Al-Othaimeen underscored the importance that OIC attaches to issues of environmental protection and energy security, given the challenges facing OIC countries due to population growth, depletion of resources, environmental degradation and climate change.
He reiterated the OIC’s commitment to continue working with member states to identify and mobilize expertise and practical mechanisms, which are consistent with the political, economic and cultural objectives of these countries.
The 8th Ministerial Session, held under the patronage of King Mohammed VI and jointly chaired by the OIC and ISESCO, approved a number of proposals for increasing intra-OIC collaboration. These included the adoption of strategies to involve all stakeholders including scholars, and most importantly youth, in the protection of the environment and achievement of sustainable development.
During the conference, the winners of the second edition of the Saudi Arabia Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World (KSAAEM) were awarded prizes. The gathering supported the efforts of Saudi Arabia by institutionalizing the award to acknowledge and encourage professionals who are working in the OIC countries to improve environmental sustainability.