MANAMA, Bahrain, Oct. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of U.N. World Habitat Day, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa called on the international community to mobilize and take the necessary measures to address potential risks resulting from climate change and address the need to strike a balance between urban development and environmental protection.
"We are living in an eco-system that is directly affected by the level of progress achieved and imbalance created by man in it," His Royal Highness the Prime Minister said. "The world must get alerted to that as quickly as possible, and unless there is serious and joint cooperation the international community will pay a high price in the future."
First celebrated in 1986, the United Nations' World Habitat Day is now celebrated annually on the first Monday of October as an opportunity to reflect on the state of human settlements and people's right to sufficient shelter. This year's theme is "Cities and Climate Change," and aims to remind people they are responsible for the habitat of future generations.
His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa stressed that the Kingdom of Bahrain, along with the international community, shares concerns over the aggravation of environmental risks threatening planet earth.
"This year alone, we have witnessed several examples of the damage climate change-related natural disasters can cause," he said. "There have been considerable physical and human losses, and billions of dollars have been spent responding to these disasters. It is time to draw attention to the effects of climate change so that we can work together on preserving the planet and providing a safe environment for all mankind."
HRH noted that the Kingdom of Bahrain was among the first to address the threat of climate change by implementing a national environment and wildlife protection strategy, and he emphasized the need to develop long-term plans and gradual reforms to continue to address environmental risks and burdens. Bahrain has already begun doing this through the use of more efficient techniques to combat pollution, using more green energies, and adopting regulation that require environmental impact studies in the development and upgrading of technology projects.
Bahrain has managed to achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals for 2010, and the Kingdom continues to work to enhance human life and reduce poverty, while ensuring environmental sustainability.
"Bahrain has accorded special attention to climate change, which is a global phenomenon distinct from other environmental problems," HRH said. "This is a global and cross-border phenomenon that puts the whole world at risk. It is the role of everyone to draw attention to this problem, in the interest of preserving our planet and providing a safe environment for all mankind."
World Habitat Day also celebrates the awarding of the "Habitat Scroll of Honor." This prestigious human settlements award aims to acknowledge initiatives that make outstanding contributions in areas such as shelter provision, the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.
In 2007 His Royal Highness received the Special Citation of the Habitat Scroll of Honor in recognition of his visionary leadership in effectively pursuing the Millennium Development Goals. Through participatory governance, the United Nations praised the Kingdom of Bahrain for being able to reduce poverty and bringing about social justice through a socially inclusive housing policy, housing finance systems and good urban governance.
To continue promoting the ideals and principles of good governance in the context of equal housing and urban development, H.H. Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa has decided to establish, jointly with UN-Habitat, the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman AI Khalifa Habitat Award.
SOURCE Kingdom of Bahrain