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Middle East Perspective Of Sustainable Development

Business Council for Sustainable Development UAE highlights key elements of the vision that aims to build a sustainable world by 2050

The Business Council for Sustainable Development UAE (BCSD-UAE), the local arm of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which operates under the umbrella of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), today (Wednesday, June 24, 2009) organised an interactive workshop titled “Vision 2050: The Middle Eastern Perspective” at the Chamber’s headquarters in Sharjah. The workshop was held under the auspices of the SCCI with the support of WBCSD and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The workshop was attended by SCCI Director General Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, SCCI Assistant Directors, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders, Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, American University of Sharjah, government experts, and representatives from the private and public sectors.

This highly-focused workshop – conducted by Hazem Jalal from PricewaterhouseCoopers - is being organised at a time when the world is increasingly facing new challenges of the 21st century, such as the global financial crisis, the high rate of poverty, food crisis, global warming and pollution, among others. The workshop highlighted various aspects of Vision 2050, which represents an international program under the patronage of 29 global companies that are members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Vision 2050 was initiated by the WBCSD’s Executive Committee to respond to the need to provide a “tool” for thought leadership, the aim of Vision 2050 is to outline a business view of the role of business in making the world sustainable. Visions 2050 focuses on an integrated strategy that includes economic, environmental, social and organisational perspectives to promote human development; create new market opportunities; focus on renewable and alternative energy; restructure production and consumption patterns; foster technological innovation; and promote innovation and excellence.

Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, SCCI Director General, said, “The workshop discussed the correlation between the impact of economic activity on energy, natural resources, the production process and consequently on social development, and how proper planning and judicious use of resources could ensure long term sustainability and progress. The Vision 2050 in many ways complements SCCI’s strategies and goals, and we are keen to extend our total support to this initiative while we continue our efforts to implement practices that will help us achieve our sustainable development goals.”

According to recent reports, the world’s population will witness a significant increase to reach 9 billion by 2050 from around 6 billion at present, and the major increase will mainly be in the developing countries. Also, according to some estimates, the world’s income will increase significantly by 2050 to reach USD 135 trillion compared with USD 35 trillion now, with the per capita GDP growing by 2 per cent annually in the wealthy countries and 3.3 per cent annually in low-and middle-income ones. In this regard, the SCCI Director General emphasized the importance of creating an integrated mechanism to meet the current requirements without compromising the ability of future generations to achieve their goals. The key to this is to focus on a comprehensive economic and sustainable growth strategy that prioritizes environmental protection and focuses on corporate social responsibility.

The BCSD-UAE was established in line with SCCI initiatives to promote sustainable development in Sharjah through the adoption of the best economic, environmental and social practices.

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