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Muslim Seven Year Plan Emerges

December 18, 2008:

Greater protection of existing resources such as water, woodland and forests is part of the Muslim Seven Year Plan.

Note: the following introduction to the preparation of a Muslim Seven Year Plan emerged from the Islam and the Environment meeting in Kuwait 28-30 October 2008

THE ISLAMIC SEVEN YEAR PLAN (M7YAP)

Over 20 key participants - from Islamic NGOs, academics, government figures and Muslim environmental activists and specialists from 14 countries - met for three days in Kuwait at the end of last month to discuss drawing up a Seven Year Plan for Islamic action on the environment (M7YAP).

It was agreed that the action plans would initially be focussed on Islamic states before spreading to other countries with Muslim communities. Also, given that 60 percent of the Islamic world lives in poverty, participants were keen to draw up plans of ecological action that could also be seen to benefit the poor. It was also thought important to engage young people.

Greater protection of existing resources such as water, woodland and forests was seen to be vital in safeguarding the livelihood of those in poverty and perhaps most at risk from the effects of climate change.

Participants recommended setting up an umbrella organisation called the Muslim Associations for Climate Change Action (MACCA) as well as a fund organisation or Islamic International Waqf to manage the Muslim Seven Year Plan. The new MACCA will be established and registered in the UK and will have branches in different Muslim countries. The time frame suggested for this was six to nine months. Its key members will be NGO’s who reflect Islamic values and work in the area of environmental conservation with a special interest in climate change. It was estimated that a budget of £25,000 sterling was needed to make this possible.

The next stage was to explore legally how and where that might happen and to bring their draft Seven Year Plans to a wider group to include government departments, scholars, NGO’s and academics. It was proposed to hold a further meeting in Summer 09 where endorsement of the final M7YAP by eminent Muslim scholars in Islamic countries would be sought.

A meeting on Islam and the Environment in Kuwait has stimulated preparations for a Muslim Seven Year Plan.
Participants at the Kuwait meeting were from Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, the UK, Switzerland, USA, Kuwait, India, Kenya, Senegal, Malaysia, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates. The meeting was largely funded by the government in Kuwait and organised by the Earth Mates Dialogue Centre (EMDC), a UK-based NGO. It was supported by ARC as part of our UNDP/ARC Seven Year Plan programme. EMDC was charged with initiating the setting up the new umbrella organisation. The draft Muslim 7 year Action Plan can be found here.

THE MISSION

“To mobilize the resources of the Islamic Umma to contribute to the ongoing global efforts dealing with Climate Change based on a Seven Year Environmental Conservation Action Plan that reflects Islamic Principles and Values.”

Creating a Green Hajj was seen as the top priority. The vision is of have a Hajj free of plastic bottles, and over the next 5-10 years to transform the Hajj into a recognised environmentally friendly pilgrimage.
THE VISION

“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”.

PRACTICAL PROPOSALS

Some of the practical proposals included:

1. Greening of the faith in terms of its practices

Creating a Green Hajj was seen as the top priority. This would require approaching the Saudi Minster who is responsible for the Hajj. The aim is to have a Hajj free of plastic bottles after 2 years and introduce environmentally friendly initiatives over the next 5-10 years to transform the Hajj into a recognised environmentally friendly pilgrimage. A media campaign and guide to a new green Hajj would be needed.

- Work towards printing a Green Qur’an on paper that comes from sustainable wood supplies

- Look at Islam’s places of worship - its buildings in particular, and their energy use

2. Education.

- Making more material on the conservation of the environment available to places of Islamic learning- focussing on the training of imams and in schools

- Working in partnership with teaching authorities in Islamic states to develop material to be incorporated into the curriculum. Develop guidebooks for teachers in Primary, Middle and Secondary schools over the next three years

- Focusing on formal and non-formal educational systems and masjids (Mosques) in Muslim communities. Prepare guidelines to train imams

- Develop an Annual International Prize for research related to Environmental Conservation

- Sponsor 10 students to work on Islam and Climate change over the next 5 years and post doctoral research into climate change as well as establish a chair for professorship in dealing with climate change

- Build a model for environment friendly masjid in different environments

- Establish a special TV channel for Islam and the Environment to be broadcast in different languages.

- Produce a film about the future effects of climate change on Islamic countries

- Organise an international mobile exhibition on Islam and environment

- Develop a website on Islam and the environment and use it for networking

- Reintroduce Islamic rituals from an environmental perspective. Reintroduce the idea of Friday khotbas

3. Legislation

- Discuss how to monitor Islamic countries with regards to international protocols they may have signed up to. How can green legislation be delivered at a local level?

- Examine whether national laws need to be strengthened or new laws need to be introduced to deliver conservation. Work with Muslim countries to advocate constitutional amendments to include environmental conservation

- Advocate environmental tax to finance eco-projects

4. Purchasing and Branding

- Develop Islamic labels for environmentally friendly goods and services. ( Al Tayeb model)

- Develop a best practice environmental guide for businesses

5. Create a Waqf within one year to fund climate change action as well as revive old waqfs

6. Choose 10 cities in the Muslim world to implement the plan



Links

Earth Mates.

Draft Muslim Seven Year Plan.




Earthmates is a not-for-profit NGO based in the UK, and concerned with key issues such as the environment, poverty and human rights. It works to find solutions through religious bases.

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December 18, 2008:
Muslim Seven Year Plan Emerges
Representatives from Islamic NGOs, academics, government figures and Muslim environmental activists held a meeting in Kuwait to focuss on the Muslim Seven Year Plan. Islamic states and Muslim communities from all over the world will be invovled in creating a Muslim plan for generational change.
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