AFED Conference on Arab footprint and survival options
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, November 29 - 2012 at 16:41
- PRESS RELEASE
Three Arab countries have the biggest environmental footprints in the world, available natural resource have fallen to less than half during the last 50 years and the consumption levels are today more than twice what local ecosystems can produce.
The report entitled Survival Options: Ecological Footprint of Arab Countries includes the first Atlas of Arab footprint and biocapacity, prepared for AFED by the Global Footprint Network. It shows that Qatar has the highest ecological footprint in the world, followed by Kuwait and UAE. Facts, figures and data maps are allocated to the Arab region and sub-regions and to each Arab country.
AFED's conference was opened under the patronage of the President of Lebanon General Michel Sleiman. More than 500 delegates attended from 48 countries, including ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats, government agencies, private sector, civil society, universities and research centers, international and regional organizations and Funds, in addition to 86 media representatives.
President Sleiman said in his opening speech, presented by minister of environment Nazem Khouri: "Facts and figures in AFED's report are alarming. The report should be nationally disseminated and used by all arab countries. Its results and recommendations should be discussed by all sectors to integrate them in strategies."
He emphasized supporting environment and development research and incorporating green accounting in the national budget.
AFED's 2012 report was presented by Najib Saab, AFED's secretary general, and Mathis Wackernagel, president of Global Footprint Network, in a panel moderated by Ashok Khosla, president of the Club of Rome.
Chairman of AFED's board of trustees Adnan Badran said that AFED's report showed that the Arab region is facing an imbalance in resource supply and demand, leading to an economic crash and a disruption of its stability and security.
The opening session included a statement by Razan Al-Mubarak, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, about UAE footprint initiative, and a keynote speech by Julia Marton-Lefevre, director general of IUCN, about nature-based solutions for sustainable development in the Arab region.
A ministerial debate about sustainability options and policies for survival and growth was held in the presence of environmental ministers from different Arab countries.
Sessions discussed sustainable energy, patterns of production and consumption, green economy, role of business in reducing ecological footprint, and the UN climate change summit in Doha.
The conference hosts IUCN regional partners meeting and the Future Leaders' Forum, and presents AFED's energy efficiency handbook and environmental education handbook.
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