The Third International Scientific Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development "Climate Change: Challenges and Confrontation"
Monday، 20 December 2021 - 11:41 AM
The Third International Scientific Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development, organized by Al Azhar University, kicked off on Saturday 18/12/2021, under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, entitled “Climate Change: Challenges and Confrontation” from December 18 to 20, 2021.
The three-day conference is attended by Al Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Awqaf Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, Egypt's Mufti Dr. Shawky Allam, Head of the Religious Affairs and Endowments Committee in the House of Representatives Dr. Ali Gomaa, and Head of the Religious Affairs and Endowments Committee in the Egyptian Senate Dr. Youssef Amer.
A number of ministries will participate in the activities of the conference, namely: the ministries of environment, electricity, health, and higher education, in addition to many research institutions concerned with climate change.
About the conference
The sessions of the three-day conference will be held at Al-Manara International Conference Center in the Fifth Settlement.
The conference will host a number of seminars and workshops, in light of Egypt’s 2030 vision, which includes facing the effects of climate change through the existence of an integrated and sustainable ecosystem that enhances resilience and the ability to face natural hazards, and in light of the African Union’s 2063 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC- COP 27), which Egypt will host in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022.
In the same vein, the conference will include several scientific sessions to discuss topics related to climate change, salient of which are: “The Role of Religious and Spiritual Leaders in Confronting Climate Change“, “The Role of Egyptian Civil Society Institutions in Confronting Disasters Resulting from Climate Change”, and “The Role of Space Science and Technology and Climate Change in the Light of Egypt’s Vision 2030”.
The conference, also, will address the conservation of natural resources from the perspective of Islamic law.
The conference will shed light on a number of advanced research topics including pollution, climate change, causes of global warming, greenhouse gases, pollution, climate hazards, GIS, remote sensing, climate change and health, ecosystems, and renewable energy.
The Opening Session
Al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb delivered a speech at the opening session of the conference, in which he stressed that the new crisis that strikes our world today is the climate crisis, pointing out that its dangers include rising temperatures, the outbreak of fires in forests, snowfall in the seas and oceans, the extinction of many animal and plant species.
He indicated that such changes began to show so clearly annoying signs that prompted officials in the East and West to utter cries of danger, and to hold international conferences in order to address the causes of this disaster, ways of preventing it and the criminalization its perpetrators.
Dr. Muhammad Al-Mahrasawi, President of Al-Azhar University, also delivered a speech in which he stressed that human solidarity is the best solution to deal with the current crises, and that poor peoples are still paying a high price for the welfare of the major industrial countries, including their exploitation of the environment and causing pollution as well as global warming. He explained that the developing peoples became unable to tolerate any more poverty, nor disease, nor greenhouse gas emissions than what already exists on lands that are deliberately meant to remain in the ranks of the Third World.
Dr. Mohammed Mukhtar Jumaa, Minister of Awqaf, also delivered a speech in which he stressed that we are facing a very important issue that does not threaten one country away from another, but rather it is an imminent danger to all of humanity, and each of us must play his role in raising awareness. And since the role of religious scholars is awareness-raising in the first place, I confirm that the religion’s opinion on scientific issues, whether medical or environmental, follows the opinion of science and is based on it. So everything that achieves the interests of the country and people is a legitimate interest, and everything that leads to harm or corruption must be prevented.
Dr. Nazeer Ayyad, Secretary-General of the Islamic Research Academy, also delivered a speech in which he called on scientific, religious, media and social institutions to adopt a common global discourse to address such wrong and unjust practices that people carry out towards their fellow human beings and towards the planet Earth, our home. He also called for the enacting of laws and legislation that would subdue the corrupters on the earth, the aggressors on the environment and the abusers of the climate, along with raising religious awareness that awakens in man his conscience so that he would watch himself in all his actions.
Activities of the discussion sessions of the conference:
The activities of the first discussion session of the conference were launched under the title "The Role of Religious Leaders in Climate Change Issues".
The session was attended by Dr. Ali Gomaa is the former Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt, who emphasized that people should respect the environment. He added that imams should work on raising the awareness of people to preserve the environment, stressing that the Parliament enacts and follows up laws that protect the environment.
It was, also, attended by Dr. Shawki Allam the current grand mufti of Egypt, Dr. Hisham Abdel Aziz, head of the religious sector on behalf of Dr. Mohammed Mukhtar Jumaa, Minister of Awqaf, and Dr. Andrea Zaki, President of the Evangelical Church in Egypt.
In his speech, His Eminence Dr. Shawky Allam called on religious institutions to play an active role in rebuilding human consciousness towards environmental issues in the correct manner as agreed upon by the heavenly books and lofty human values.
During the discussion session, Dr. Andrea Zaki, President of the Evangelical Church in Egypt said that climate change is a crucial issue that requires concerted efforts to deal with it. This reflects the important role of this conference, which sheds light on the phenomenon of climate change and its effects on the whole world.
For his part, Bishop Ermia, General Bishop and head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center, warned against international inaction in facing the challenges of climate change, warning that this would cost the world serious consequences such as the spread of droughts, floods and hurricanes all over the world, causing future conflicts due to water scarcity that will threaten the future of life on earth.
Bishop Ermia, also, called upon all countries to unite in order to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and to implement a number of measures in this regards such as the green economy transition, establishing early warning and climate monitoring systems, building low-carbon cities, expanding forest areas to absorb carbon, and supporting farmers in the face of climate change.
In the same context, H.E. Nicholas Henry Tiffinen, Vatican Ambassador to Egypt said: Today we are gathered as one family, there are no religious or cultural boundaries separating us, we are all part of nature, which we constantly interact with. And we must look for comprehensive solutions and a common approach that interacts with the natural and social order to protect the individual and society.”
The conference also witnessed a discussion session entitled "The Role of Countries and International Institutions in Climate Change Issues (Climate Financing Partners)".
The session was attended by the scientist Dr. Farouk El-Baz, Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University, who stressed during his recorded speech that Al-Azhar University professors and students can do enough researches to participate in finding solutions to climate impacts.
In his recorded speech at the session, the US Ambassador to Cairo, Jonathan Cohen, expressed the United States' aspiration to partnership with Egypt in various areas, congratulating Egypt for hosting the upcoming COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2022.
Abul-Enein stressed that the importance of this conference stems from the fact that it lays out a solution to the dangerous problem of climate changes and emissions, representing a cry from Egypt about the danger of environmental conditions in order to obtain our environmental rights. He called on the whole world and those in charge of the conference to think of investments as an alternative to loans, since it is the investments that will push forward new and renewable energy as an alternative to polluting energy, in order to achieve progress and help Egypt to be always the leader in Africa.
The conference also held a discussion session entitled "The Role of the Media and Civil Society Institutions in Supporting Environmental Issues".
During the session, Dr. Reda Amin, Dean of the Faculty of Information, Al-Azhar University, said that the media plays an important role in raising the awareness of peoples concerning various societal issues by simplifying information for the masses.
For his part, Major General Mohamed Amr Lotfy, Secretary-General of the Egyptian House of Zakat and Charities, spoke about the relief efforts of the Egyptian House of Zakat and Charities towards those affected by natural disasters resulting from climate changes such as torrential rains and floods, the latest of which happened in Aswan Governorate. He called upon the societal institutions that support those affected by these phenomena to fully coordinate with each other so as to provide optimal support to those affected by the effects of such disasters.
The discussion session included presenting some of the experiences of Al-Azhar youth in sustainable development and local entrepreneurship, such as the “Green Surface… Better Health” initiative and the Enactus team from Al-Azhar University in Egypt, which won the Enactus world Cup entrepreneurship, reflecting the approach of Al-Azhar University for the empowerment of youth.
The activities of the second day of the conference started with a discussion session entitled “The Economics of Climate Adaptation”. The discussion session was chaired by Prof. Tarek Salman, former Vice President of Al-Azhar University, Prof. Muhammad Yunus Abdo, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce for Boys at Al-Azhar University, and Prof. Salah Fahmy, Professor of Economics at Al-Azhar University.
During the session, Prof. El-Gendy Shaker El-Gendy, Head of the Architecture Department at the Faculty of Engineering for Girls, Al-Azhar University, delivered a research paper entitled "Economic Visions and Solutions to Confront Climate Changes Using Global Management Principles and Development Objectives", in which he discussed a number of topics such as: various strategies for solving problems, strategic planning, facilities management as one of the solutions to economic problems, principles of global management.
The activities of the second day also witnessed a discussion session entitled "The Role of Arab and African Universities and Research Institutions in the Field of Environment and Climate Change", which was moderated by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Al-Mahrasawi, President of Al-Azhar University, Prof. Dr. Bakri Saeed Othman, President of the Association of African Universities, and Prof. Dr. Mohamed Latif, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Universities.
In the third session of the activities of the second day of the conference, the researchers discussed research topics on the issue of “effective adaptation” in light of climate and environmental changes.
The fourth session came under the title "Pollution and Control of Carbon Emissions". It was moderated by Prof. Sayed Bakri, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. Khaled Ghanem, Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Agriculture, and Prof. Hassan Ahmed Shehata, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Science.
During the fifth and final session of the second day of the conference, Dr. Amira El-Sayed Ahmed, Head of the Central Department for Quality, Environment and Safety at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, presented a research paper entitled “Climate Changes and their Impact on Civil Aviation”, which reviewed international commitments and the efforts of the United Nations towards climate change since the Stockholm Conference 1972 , in addition to the axes of the climate change action plan adopted by ICAO. She, also, expressed her thanks and appreciation to Al-Azhar University for its efforts and for organizing this important scientific conference that sheds light on an important and influential issue, which is the issue of climate change.
The activities of the third day of the conference started with a discussion session entitled “The Concept of International Standards for Environmental Management Systems…Quality and Financing”, in which a group of scientists and experts in the field of climate and environmental changes participated.
During the session, Thomas Herbusch, CEO of German Engineering Technology Services (GETS), stressed, in his speech via video conference, that in light of the loud cries of the environment, it was necessary to set mandatory frameworks for international standards that would help companies continue their development and to support them to achieve their goals, taking into account environmental responsibilities. He, also, recommended to businessmen the necessity of making an actual environmental compatibility that contributes to protecting the environment, achieving sustainable development and reducing project costs.
Al-Azhar University announced the final statement and recommendations of the conference:
- Al- Al-Azhar Climate Conference congratulates President Sisi for choosing Egypt to host COP27.
- Forming a specialized scientific committee to set a scientific curriculum to raise awareness of the climate crisis.
- Al-Azhar conference recommends encouraging students to allocate projects about the climate crisis.
- Al-Azhar Climate Conference decides to launch the “Climate Ambassadors” project to confront the climate change crisis.
- Al-Azhar Climate Conference will present a practical model for the COP27 summit on activating sustainability at the university.
- Al-Azhar Climate Conference declares 2022 the Year of the Environment and sets an integrated agenda to raise awareness.
- Al-Azhar University conference stresses the role of the media in raising awareness of the dangers of climate change.
- Al-Azhar conference confirms the role of drama in defining the climate change crisis and the rights of developing countries.
- Al-Azhar Climate Conference decides to prepare a media guide to deal with environmental crises.
- Al-Azhar Climate Conference decides to adopt a strategic plan for the transition to renewable energy sources.
- Al-Azhar Climate Conference recommends raising awareness of the harms of carbon pollution and global warming.
- Al-Azhar conference calls upon civil society and international organizations to support bodies working in the field of environment.