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Arab media forum on environment and sustainable development concludes

posted on 26/07/2002: 1930 views

The First Regional Arab Media Forum on Environment and Sustainable Development ended in Abu Dhabi yesterday with a closing declaration and recommendation. The two-day forum started yesterday under the aegis of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA). The forum was held in preparation for the world summit on sustainable development scheduled to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 26 to September 4. In its recommendations, the forum called for the unveiling of Israeli practices against man and land in the Arab occupied territories, particularly in Palestine in the Arab media.

The forum also recommended that an Arab development media discourse should be formulated , exhorting Arab governments to allow freedom of the press to enable media men and journalists to deal freely with environment-related data and information . Press and media institutions were urged by the forum's participants to mobilise all their resources to enlighten the Arab people about issues to be discussed in the Johannesburg summit. The forum called on media institutions to provide training opportunities on environmental media to young journalists. Government, regional and international organisation were also advised by the forum to set up scientific data bases on environmental issues.

The forum also recommended the formation of an Arab environmental media monitoring centre to monitor the handling of environmental issues by the mass media. The recommendation adopted the initiative by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Arab League's technical secretariat of the Arab Environment Ministerial Council and ERWDA that calls for the setting up of an advisory panel, the secretariat of which should comprise the Arab league, UNEP's West Asia bureau, ERWDA and Arab journalists Association.

Earlier in the mid-day session, Dr.Mamdouh Moussili, Director of Arab League's information department , called for the setting up of an Arab environmental monitor centre with a branch office in the Gulf region and Maghrib countries. In his paper” The Arab media plan for creation of environmental awareness” Dr.madouh urged Arab investors and businessmen to invest in the field of environment. "Arab businessmen could be invited by Arab metropolitan officials to invest in urban environment-related projects such as construction of public parks, tarmacked roads and landscape squares etc. In return, the projects built by them could be named after their names” proposed Dr. Mamdouh. He voiced his department's readiness to support any enviroment-related move. He emphasised the importance of having a media strategy to disseminate awareness among the public on issues related to environment and sustainable development. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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