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Media forum on sustainable development to start today

posted on 24/07/2002: 1583 views


UAE's financial contributions to governments world-wide, particularly to developing countries, constitute four per cent of its Gross National Product (GNP) with over 55 countries benefiting from these grants, according to an environmental official. Speaking at a press conference held in the Abu Dhabi Hilton Hotel today to discuss preparations for the first media forum on environmental and sustainable development in the Arab region, scheduled in Abu Dhabi for today ,Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the Environmental Research & Wildlife Development Agency ( ERWDA ) said the objective behind organizing the forum was to get as many Arab media experts as possible together to review arrangements being undertaken by the Arabs in preparation for the third world Summit for Sustainable Development, due to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 26-September 4.



"The convening of the Forum comes in implementation of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, launched by Arab Environment Ministers in their meeting here in February last year, which calls for more attention to environmental issues and bringing about awareness among Arab masses , " Al Mansouri said. He voiced the hope that the Forum would strive to draw up a general framework of an Arab strategy and set up a high advisory panel for Arab environmental and development media. The two-day Forum is jointly organized by the Asian chapter of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Arab League, ERWDA, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UAE's Federal Environmental Agency (FEA).



Over 60 experts representing prominent media houses are expected to attend the Forum. Al Mansouri stated that both ERWDA and FEA " are looking forward to seeing this forum achieve its prime target that is to prepare for the upcoming Johannesburg Summit and help create constant links between various institutions as well as shed light on priorities as far as environmental and development mass media in the Arab world are concerned. "The ERWDA Secretary General elucidated that the Abu Dhabi Global environmental data Collection Initiative ( AGEDI ), launched by the UAE , was part of their preparations for the Summit and was set to spur international bodies on to make quality global data available to decision-makers in developing countries and provide a unified mechanism for collection, revision ,comparison and monitoring of data.



The Initiative is intended to present an innovative approach to the promotion of quality environmental data collection for further use by the developing world . The approach is essentially non- expert oriented, based on partnerships, precautionary and participatory, and decentralized. Its priorities are to mobilize resources, raise appropriate funds, assess regional environmental data needs, and collect and establish regional environmental information inventories and indicators. Al Mansouri said that the initiative was well received by top officials in U.S.A, UNDP, UNESCO and the World Bank as well as delegates who were taking part in the Johannesburg Summit Preparatory Committee's meeting recently held in Bali Island, Indonesia.



Tomorrow's Forum is due to discuss a variety of issues ranging from the Arab media and sustainable development issues, globalisation, trade and environment to water issues and the proposed Arab strategy for environmental and development media. Present at the press conference were Dr. Asaad al Numairi, Environmental Advisor at the Federal Environment Agency, Ibrahim Al Abed, Director General of Emirates News Agency ( WAM ) and representatives of media in Abu Dhabi. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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