The two-day conference on Islam and the environment that was held in Istanbul, Turkey, between 6 and 7 July, 2009, concluded by declaring a Muslim seven-year-action plan on climate change. The plan was culminated by the establishment of MACCA, the Muslim Associations for Climate Change Action, which will act as an umbrella organization to monitoring the action plan and following up with its implementation.
The conference was attended by around 200 Muslim scholars, experts, and representatives of Islamic civil society organizations, as well as representatives of ministries of environment and Awqaf endowment of many Islamic countries, such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Morocco, Indonesia, Senegal, Turkey…etc..
Following is the full text of the Istanbul Declaration as issued on the 7th of July 7, 2009:
More than 50 religious scholars from across the Muslim world have endorsed a long-term plan for action on climate change. Dr. Youssef AlQaradawi, the president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, lent his support to Muslims convened in Istanbul 6 -7 July 2009.
The plan, drawn up by Earth Mates Dialogue Centre (EMDC), an NGO based in the UK, implies establishing institutional enabling framework, developing overall capacity to deal with climate change and environmental conservation, developing and enhancing communication, outreach and partnerships, activating and reviving implementation of previous initiatives, plans, and declarations.
The plan also includes proposals for developing the major Muslim cities as a green city model, which can act as a guidance for greening other Islamic cities. Besides, the plan attempts to develop an Islamic label for environmental friendly goods and services and create the best environmental practices for Islamic businesses.
The proposals will be managed through the umbrella organization ‘MACCA’, the Muslim Associations for Climate Change Action. The proposals have been endorsed by around 200 Muslim scholars, experts and representatives of Islamic civil society organizations, as well as representatives of ministries of environment and Awqaf of many Islamic countries, such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Morocco, Indonesia, Senegal, Turkey…etc.
The Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Jumma, the Mufti of Palestine, Dr. Ekrama Sabri, Dr. Salman Alouda, a prominent Saudi Arabian scholar, and Said Ali, Mohamad Hussein FadlAllah, the Lebanese Shiah scholar, also lent their support, as well as ISESCO – the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Al Fatih University in Turkey and the municipality of Greater Istanbul, beside different organizations in the Islamic world.
The plan, initiated by a group of environmental experts with the cooperation of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs last year, will be presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations at a special meeting in Windsor castle, England, in November 2009. Afterwards, the plan will be set for implementation in Muslim countries worldwide.
The Windsor meeting, sponsored by the UNDP and ARC (the Alliance of
Religions and Conservation) will bring together the long-term plans of the eleven major global faiths to consider how to look after the environment and address climate change challenges. Their integrated vision will be presented in the international climate change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.
The Muslim action plan and its declaration in Istanbul is part of what Olav Kjorven, the Assistant General Secretary of the UNDP, has called, “The biggest civil society movement on climate change in history”. “The role of Islam”, he said, “could be one of the decisive factors tipping the planet towards a sustainable future. This commitment, he continued, in Istanbul to a low carbon future can be of historic significance in the path to resolving climate change and other pressing environmental issues”.