Beirut, 25 January 2007
Arab Forum for Environment & Development (AFED) was proclaimed in Beirut on 17 June 2006, at the conclusion of a regional round table on Public Opinion and the Environment, organized by Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia (Environment & Development) magazine. The initiative, which started in 2001 as informal gathering of the magazine’s region-wide readers, was established as a regional organization on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. The Board of trustees elected Dr. Mostafa Kamal Tolba, former Executive Director of UNEP, as President, and Najib Saab, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Environment and Development magazine, as Secretary General.
AFED will work towards bringing together all parties concerned with environment and development in the Arab world to discuss regional and national issues related to the environment, in view of local and global changes, stressing the pivotal role of civil society and the private sector. It will group regional environmental organizations and experts with leading academic institutions, media and the business community, on common debate grounds to further the cause of environment and sustainable development.
The Forum, which will cooperate with regional and international institutions, aims at spreading environmental awareness through promoting adequate information and education programmes, as well as supporting civil society organizations active in the environmental sector.
AFED aims at encouraging Arab societies to protect the environment and use natural resources in a sensible manner resulting in sustainable development. This could be attained through constructive interaction between decision-makers, academics, businesses and the civil society, in addition to other parties interested in environment and development.
An independent periodic report on the State of Arab Environment (SAE) will be produced by AFED, to be presented at an annual gathering of the Forum. The reports will vary between general overview and in-depth analysis of selected priority topics. This high-level annual Forum will be designed to attract participants from the private and public sectors, academia, experts, media and civil society.
AFED’s founding board of trustees:
- Dr. Mostapha Kamal Tolba (Egypt, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme-UNEP)
- Dr. Abdelrahman Al-Awadi (Kuwait, Executive Secretary of the Regional Organization for the Protection of Marine Environment-ROPME and former Minister of Health)
- Dr. Adnan Badran (Jordan, President of the Arab Academy of Science and former PM)
- Mr. Abdel Mohsen Al- Sudeary (Saudi Arabia, former President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development- IFAD)
- Mr. Mohammed Al Bawardi (UAE, Secretary General of the Executive Council in Abu Dhabi)
- Mr. Salih Osman (Sudan, former Assistant Executive Director of UNEP)
- Dr. Riad Hamza (Bahrain, professor and former Vice President of Arab Gulf University)
- Mr. Saad Hariri (Lebanon, Member of Parliament and businessman)
- Mr. Maroun Semaan (Lebanon, Executive Director of PETROFAC International)
- Mr. Najib Saab (Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Environment & Development magazine)