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The Environmental Challenge
The environmental crisis is the world's most challenging problem. The crisis has united most segments of humanity and constitutes a common concern of a world-wide movement. In the West, groups are campaigning against the abuse of the environment. They exert pressure on their governments to enact legislation to limit pollution and prevent over-exploitation of nature. But the task of protecting the environment depends not only on legislation, but rather on the awakening of conscience and acts of serious self-censorship.
The Islamic law code underpins the daily lives of Muslims, so the supporters of nature rely on it to prevent abuse of the environment. Despite the availability of texts, teachings, and rules in the Islamic literature, the scholars of Islam have been slow to enact environmental laws that are derived from the Holy Qur'an and the Sunna of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Earth Mates Dialogue Centre (EMDC) is a non-profit organization based in the UK. EMDC is concerned with the major challenges facing the world; the environment, poverty, human rights...etc. EMDC works with the earth partners to find solutions based on religious bases for such challenges. As Climate change is one of the most important issues challenging mankind, EMDC has tried to respond by working on the preparation of a M7YAP in coordination with UNDP & ARC.
Invited by EMDC, some 22 key participants - from Islamic NGOs, academics, government figures and Muslim environmental activists and specialists from 14 countries - (hereon after referred to as "The team") met for three days in Kuwait this October to discuss drawing up a Seven Year Plan for Islamic action on the environment (M7YAP).
The objectives of the Kuwait meeting can be summarized as follows:
1 – To provide an Islamic vision with regard to the environment in general and climate change in particular.
2 - To identify and study the interactions of Islamic civilization with the environment and offer models for those experiences.
3 – To discuss the challenges facing the world particularly global warming and climate change.
4 – To state the characteristics of the Islamic world in general and the particular characteristics of the different countries in fighting these challenges.
5 – To present projects and experiments that took place in the Islamic world to deal with climate change and global warming.
6 – To survey the different resources and tools stemming from the Islamic religion and to identify the ones that could be used in carrying out the operational plan for dealing with the problem.
7 – To develop a final draft and blue print of a seven year action plan that may be applied in the Islamic world to confront the phenomenon of global warming and climate change. Such plan would contain potential tools, specific targets and a timetable for implementation.
The team agreed on the vision of the plan to be: We envision a world that is environmentally safe for our children and the next generations where all nations of all religions live in harmony with nature and enjoy justice and fair share of God's bounties.
The team also agreed on the mission: Mobilize all the resources of the Islamic Ummah to contribute to the ongoing global efforts dealing with Climate Change based on a 7 Year Environmental Conservation Action Plan that reflects Islamic Principles and Values.
To achieve the plan, the strategy of the team included focusing the efforts on selected Islamic Leaders and Institutions, partnering with key relevant Institutions of other religions, and complimenting ongoing efforts of National, Regional and Global Bodies
The team established four strategic goals for the plan;
I. Establish Institutional Enabling Framework
II. Develop our overall Capacity to deal with Climate Change and Environmental Conservation
III. Develop and Enhance Communication, Outreach, and Partnerships
IV. Activate and Revive Implementation of Previous Initiatives, Plans, and Declarations
For each strategic objective the plan presents many actions. All the actions have been discussed from different aspects: the priority of the action, the action output, the target group, the players, the time frame, the input, and indicators for evaluation of accomplishment.
The team agreed that the next steps are to collect feedback from Muslim Scholars, revise the plan accordingly, establish an umbrella organization to implement the plan, and establish an Islamic Wakf to financially support the plan.
EMDC hopes that all interested Muslims be involved in the enhancement of the plan, actively participate in the implementation of the plan, support our efforts for the betterment of mankind, and propagate the message to as many people as possible.
The full plan
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