4 November 2010
Road Map to Enhance Environmental Sustainability through use of ICTs

ITU Symposium on ICTs for Environment and Climate Change Concludes in Cairo

ITU’s 5th Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change closed yesterday in Cairo, Egypt, with the presentation of the Cairo Road Map on ICTs and Environmental Sustainability.

“Today the ICT sector is joining forces with the global community in mobilizing not just political will, but resources, energies and creativity as well,” said Dr .Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, who presented some of the best practices developed recently by Egypt in the use of ICTs to promote sustainable social and economic development.

The conference aims at adopting an achievable and balanced approach to tackling climate change at the global level. “Our recommendations will be a step forward towards a better integration of the ICT sector into the international climate change negotiations,” said Dr. Tarek Kamel.

Demonstrating success and feasibility, engaging the private sector, promoting cooperation at the regional and global level and developing and implementing national e-environment plans are some of the key actions outlined in the Cairo Road Map, which provides a framework to assist countries in their efforts to integrate the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into their environmental policies.

Following the adoption of the Cairo Road Map, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said, “The Cairo Road Map is a unique starting point that could be used by governments, in particular from the African and Arab regions, to design their national green ICT policies to promote the use of ICTs for the protection of the environment.”

“ITU is working tirelessly to ensure that ICTs are at the centre of all efforts to combat climate change,” said Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, highlighting the role of ICTs in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. He added that ITU had received a renewed and strong mandate from its 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference to continue its leadership in engaging the ICT sector in addressing the causes and effects of climate change.

The two-day Symposium, co-organized by ITU, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA) of Egypt, brought together leading experts in the field, including top policy-makers, engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, and specialists from UN agencies. More than 400 participants took part in the event.

“We wish to contribute towards effectively tackling global risks, environmental issues and climate change challenges.” Emphasizing the focus of the symposium on the best practices and specific issues faced by developing countries, such as managing water, conserving biodiversity and reducing energy consumption and e-waste, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Maged George said, “This initiative is a successful example of the positive results that can be achieved by promoting the close collaboration between all the stakeholders working in the environmental and telecommunication sectors.”

The main conclusions of the Cairo Road Map will be brought to the attention of the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16 / CMP6), which will take place from 29 November to 10 December 2010 in Cancun, Mexico.

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