Press releases
News archive
Selected books
ARC Home > News and Resources > News archive:

Historic Istanbul Declaration of the Muslim 7 Year Action Plan on Climate Change

July 8, 2009:

"The fact that you, the Muslim world, are making commitments for real action, and that other faiths are doing the same is by far the biggest news story of 2009 as far as climate change is concerned," said Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary General of UNDP.

Some 200 key Muslim leaders, scholars, civil society members and government ministries from Islamic civil society, made the unprecedented step yesterday of joining together to endorse a long term plan for action on climate change.

The leaders, who gathered in Istanbul for a historic meeting from 5-7 July 2009, have agreed to spend the next seven years making and planning serious commitments to protecting the natural environment, and combating climate change.

The plan, drawn up by Earth Mates Dialogue Centre, an NGO based in the UK, and supported by ARC, as part of our UN/ARC Seven Year Plan Initiative, proposes investigating every level of Muslim activity from daily life to annual pilgrimages, from holy cities to the future training of Imams.

Other proposals include:

* developing the major Muslim cities as green city models for other Islamic urban areas

* developing an Islamic label for environmentally friendly goods and services

Some 200 key Islamic scholars, governments and civil society leaders have endorsed a significant long-term plan that includes greening the Hajj within the next 10 years
* creating a best practice environmental guide for Islamic businesses.

The proposals will be managed through the establishment of a new umbrella organisation, MACCA, the Muslim Associations for Climate Change Action.

Some 50 key Muslim scholars lent their support, along with around 150 others, representing representatives of Islamic civil society organisations as well as representatives of Ministries of Environment and Awqaf of many Islamic countries including Kuwait, Bahrain, Morocco, Indonesia, Senegal, Turkey etc.

The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Goma'a, the Mufti of Palestine, Dr. Ekrama Sabri, Dr Salman Alouda (prominent Saudi Arabian scholar) Ali Mohamad Hussein Fadlallah, (Lebanese Shia scholar), and the Adviser of the Prince of Mecca and Medina also lent their support as well as Al Fatih Islamic University in Istanbul and ISESCO- the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

The plan, initiated by a group of environmental experts in Kuwait last year, with the cooperation of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, will now be developed in Muslim countries worldwide and presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon at a special meeting hosted by ARC and sponsored by UNDP, which will be held at Windsor Castle in November.

The meeting will bring together the long term plans of the 11 major global faiths, showing how they plan to care for the environment and address climate change in preparation for the international climate gathering in Copenhagen in December.

Sheikh Ali Goma'a, The Grand Mufti of Egypt, speaking at the historic meeting in Istanbul.
The Muslim plan is part of what Olav Kjorven, the Assistant General Secretary of the UN, has called ‘the biggest civil society movement on climate change in history." The role of Islam ‘he says ‘ could be one of the decisive factors tipping the planet towards a sustainable future. This commitment in Istanbul to a low carbon future can be of historic significance in the path to resolving climate change and other pressing environmental issues.

"The fact that you, the Muslim world, are deciding to take a stand and, most importantly, making commitments for real action, and that other faiths are doing the same is by far the biggest news story of 2009 as far as climate change is concerned," Mr Kjorven said in a powerful speech that can be read here in its entirety.

"It is the biggest mobilization of people and communities that we have ever seen on this issue. You are exercising real leadership, so sorely missed for so long in the negotiations, and bringing a “we can do it”, or dare I say “yes we can” mentality to the global scene. We in the UN are deeply impressed and delighted that this is happening. It is “just in time” because there is so little time to lose. The planet needs strong action and fast."


The Istanbul Declaration of the M7YAP on Climate Change

The draft Muslim Seven Year Plan to Protect the Natural Environment

The Seventh Annual Dialogue between the Islamic world and Japan, in March 2009 in Kuwait. The Istanbul Conference was the next stage in the process.

Read Islam Online's article about the Muslim 7 Year Action Plan Declaration.

< previous 
ARC site map
Related pages

July 8, 2009:
UN celebrates Muslim Seven Year EcoPlan
Assistant Secretary General of UNDP acknowledges the critical importance of the Muslim 7 Year Plan for the environment, endorsed this week by 200 key international Islamic leaders
What does Islam teach about ecology?
A brief summary of the main Islamic teachings on ecology.
September 16, 2009:
Muslim Association for Climate Change Action (MACCA) is launched
With an emphasis on greener Islamic living for future generations, MACCA has been endorsed by over 200 Muslim representatives.