OIC Environment Report 2023: Resilient Recovery for a Sustainable Environment
Date: 19 October 2023

SESRIC launched the “OIC Environment Report 2023: Resilient Recovery for a Sustainable Environment” during the 9th Session of the Conference of Environment Ministers in the Islamic World, which was held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 19 October 2023. The report examines the current state of the environment and its management in OIC member countries by using the most recent data available on major relevant indicators. This edition of the report also highlights OIC member countries’ progress towards meeting the targets on environment-related sustainable development goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement commitments.

According to the report, environmental capital constitutes a significant portion of wealth in OIC member countries, accounting for over a third of total wealth. However, OIC member countries lag behind the world in terms of environmental performance and sustainability. For instance, while the global deforestation rate has slightly declined in the last two decades, OIC member countries have witnessed an increase in deforestation rate from 0.27% to 0.44% per year. Moreover, air pollution continued to be a significant threat to the health and well-being of societies in many OIC member countries, resulting in 1.6 million premature deaths in 2019. Additionally, water stress has become a pressing issue for 30 OIC member countries, with 18 of them facing critical stress levels, putting their water resources at great risk of depletion.

The impacts of climate change continued to further exacerbate environmental challenges in many OIC member countries. Although their average per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are lower than the global average, the rate of increase is faster. Between 1990 and 2019, OIC GHG emissions grew by 91%, reaching 9.2 Gt-CO2 equivalent, while global GHG emissions increased by 53%. Additionally, recent estimates indicate that over half of the OIC member countries are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to limited mitigation and adaptation capacity. The report also highlights that climate change particularly exacerbates the vulnerabilities of food insecurity and malnutrition in OIC member countries, affecting various aspects of food systems including agricultural production, food accessibility, and food utilization.

Therefore, urgent action is required to minimize the worst consequences of climate change, build resilience, and mitigate future environmental threats. OIC member countries need to reaffirm their commitment to the Global Climate Negotiation Table and incorporate robust environmental policies into their overall development strategies to achieve net-zero emissions in the near future.

The report concludes with a set of policy recommendations to support the efforts of OIC member countries in achieving more sustainable environmental resource management. Despite setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in various economic sectors, there is still an opportunity to progress toward a greener future. The policy recommendations in this report emphasize the need for greener development as a means to “build back better” from the crisis. Member countries should collaborate to ensure that their growth is sustainable, inclusive, and resilient.

Online Electronic Version