Muslim community representatives from 17 countries will hold an international conference on climate change to hash out tangible action to tackle global warming, including through the “green haj” concept.
The April 9-10 conference in Bogor will feature around 200 participants, including 90 from Islamic boarding schools across Indonesia.
“This is an action-oriented conference to motivate Muslims to protect the planet from the threat of global warming,” organizing committee member Ismet Hadad said Monday.
“We want to show the world that Muslims are also doing their part to combat climate change, which affects all people regardless of religious or ethnic background.”
The conference will be held at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture’s convention center, and will be funded in part by Conservation Inter-national.
Here are some specifics from last year's meeting in Istanbul:
At last year’s meeting in Istanbul, the conference adopted the “Muslim seven-year action plan for climate change”.
The plan includes proposals for a more environmentally management of the annual haj, eco-friendly mosques and publishing the Koran with paper from sustainable forests.
Ahmad Fauzi, the Forestry Ministry’s liaison for the conference, said organizers expected to come up with concrete results on how to implement the proposals agreed on in Turkey.
He said one of the more ambitious targets was the “green haj”, in which haj pilgrims would be encouraged to minimize and offset their carbon footprints from the pilgrimage.
Well...yes, greening the Hajj alone would be a significant step. After all, 2.5 million people join for Hajj each year - plus, numerous others visit Mecca throughout the year for Umrah, the non-Hajj pilgrimage. One of the measures being considered is to phase out the use of plastic bottles throughout the Hajj. A small step - but with a big impact. Similarly, there are ideas around building green mosques, i.e. mosques with energy-saving designs. Under normal circumstances, the prospects for the implementation of such ideas appear small. However, this is topic, if framed properly, can really resonate well with the larger Muslim population. It is hip, modern, and consistent with the way mainstream Muslims interpret the Qur'an. Also see this earlier post about Abu Dhabi's Masdar City - a planned zero-carbon eco-city.
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