Khatami Urges ECO Members to Prevent Environmental Destruction

December 16, 2002 - 0:0
TEHRAN -- President Mohammad Khatami stressed here Sunday on the need to expand cooperation among member states of the Environmental Economic Cooperation (ECO) to prevent the environmental destruction and pollution as he addressed the first ECO Environment Ministers Conference.

"A transnational move is needed to find a solution for protecting the environment and fighting destructive factors," Khatami said as he warned against negative consequences of environmental degradation in the region and the globe.

He regretted that the environmental issues are closely linked to development gaps, saying protection of the environment demands modern human view to the nature and development.

He termed air pollution of big cities, destruction of pastures and forests as well as elimination of the variety of wildlife as among major joint environmental issues of the ECO member states.

The first Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Environment Ministers Conference was inaugurated here Sunday by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami who addressed the meeting.

A draft of a final statement on regional cooperation to be issued at the end of the meeting is to be drawn up by senior experts during the first two days of discussions.

During the three-day meeting, ECO environment ministers and experts on human, natural and wild life species will discuss marine environmental issues, bio-diversity as well as promotion and training of regional states on legal structures to promote environmental concerns.

Representatives and environment ministers from Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan are attending this first-ever conference.

The conference is presided by Iran's Vice-President and Head of the Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar.

The Energy Charter, Persian Gulf Regional Environmental Protection Department, Caspian Sea Environmental Program, Ramsar Convention and the Asian and Pacific Economic and Social Cooperation Organization are represented in the conference.

ECO environment ministers held their preliminary session here Saturday.