King Mohammed VI of Morocco underlined that issues pertaining to the environment and to sustainable development are among the major challenges the world is facing today.
Many international studies point to an unprecedented depletion of natural resources, to a dramatic rise in pollution levels, as well as to a major disruption of the global environmental balance, the King pointed out in a message sent to the 8th Islamic Conference of Environment ministers, which opened Wednesday in Rabat.
In a message, which was read out by Culture and Communication Minister Mohamed Laaraj, the King pointed out that the current situation has serious and alarming consequences for our planet, including evident adverse impacts on the economic, social and health situation.
“Whatever its capabilities, no single country can effectively address these problems on its own,” the Moroccan leader underlined, adding that the conference provides an opportunity for countries to assess the efforts made in this field and to coordinate cooperation and partnership between all stakeholders in order to achieve desired goals and invest in the future of countries and peoples.
He also recalled Morocco’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development, based on a participatory approach integrating the economic, social, and environmental dimensions, paving the way to the country’s transition to a green economy by 2030.
The achievement of the strategy’s objectives hinges on the involvement of all the stakeholders concerned, said the Sovereign, stressing the importance of enhancing environmental awareness and education in line with the principles and values of the Islamic religion.
To curb greenhouse gas emissions, a climate change competence center has been set up to accompany and support national actors, share Morocco’s experience in this field and promote South-South cooperation, particularly with Islamic and African countries, explained King Mohammed VI.
For his part, Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Dr. Salim M. Al Malik affirmed that the pan-Muslim organization has taken upon itself to fully become an eco-friendly institution.
He also called on Muslim peoples to unwaveringly contribute to the protection and preservation of their environment and its treasures.
He cautioned that the blue planet is not alright because it endures massive destruction of its ecosystem.
Malik added that natural resources had been polluted, the habitats of plant and animal species degraded and the people who had been displaced by drought and natural disasters outnumbered refugees of wars and racial conflicts.
If this situation persists, he warned, about 700 million people, mostly from the Islamic world, would be forced to flee their areas by 2030.
Moreover, he stated that reliable reports issued by specialized institutions and bodies reveal 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 has soared from 599 disasters in 2002 to 1100 in 2017.
Malik reaffirmed ISESCO's willingness to cooperate in developing action programs with any initiative from the Member States of the Islamic world.