The First International Environment Forum was opened in Jeddah today by Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation Prince Abdelrahman bin Abdulaziz, on behalf of Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who is Chairman of the National Commission for Wildlife Development and Conservation (NCWDC). The four-day forum will review environmental issues from an Islamic viewpoint. In his speech, Prince Abdulrahman quoted verses from the Holy Qur'an and some sayings from the Prophet that exhort cleanliness and protection of the environment.
Addressing the gathering, Secretary-General of the Ministerial Committee for the Environment Nizar bin Ibrahim Tawfiq praised the efforts of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the Kingdom's Meteorology and Environment Protection Agency (MEPA) for their cooperation in organizing this important conference. Environmental issues, he said, are not separate from matters of development, and are affected by the behavior of individual members of society. One participant is Chairman of Iran's Department of the Environment Dr. Ma'asooma Ibtikar; she called for intensive studies to be conducted to eliminate environmental problems through legislation.