An Urgent Call for Environmental Action
|Professor Rami Zurayk presenting the GEO4
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Information
Center (UNIC) launched its Global Environment Outlook 4 (GEO 4) report
at AUB in West Hall on October 26.
As the report's first screening of the UN's current environmental concerns
and success stories, the event was formally introduced by Nabil Abou Dargham
of the UNIC. Other speakers on the occasion included AUB Provost Peter
Heath, Deputy Regional Director of UNEP Basel Al Yousfi, and AUB Professor
of land and water resources Rami Zurayk, who gave a presentation on the
content of the GEO4 document.
Abou Dargham , who described the launching of the UN report from AUB as
"the best of ideas," reminded the audience of the memorable
piano concert that was held in the same venue at the University in 1992,
when hundreds of participants signed a pledge to protect the world environment.
According to Heath, AUB can play an active role in saving the global environment
by participating in research, educating the public and policy-makers,
and offering valuable recommendations. He expressed mixed feelings of
pleasure in hosting the launching of GEO4 and "trepidation regarding
the nature of the information "to be reviewed. He spelled hope in
the coordinated efforts of the UN and other bodies to study the state
of the world environment, even though GEO4 reported a downhill track with
no foreseeable favorable trends, but said, "The time to act is now."
The GEO4, which is a once-every-four-year study commissioned by the UN
for implementation by UNEP, is the most authoritative and scientifically
robust report on the state of the world's environment and its natural
resources. AUB was one of the collaborating centers that took part in
the materialization of this substantive document.