The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) is a not-for-profit regional non-governmental organization, grouping experts together with the civil society, business community and media, to promote prudent environmental policies and programmes across the Arab region. While it maintains its character as a non-governmental organization, AFED admits, in the capacity of observers, national, regional and international bodies working in the fields of environment and sustainable development.
AFED was officially proclaimed in Beirut on 17 June 2006, at the conclusion of a regional conference on Public Opinion and the Environment, organized by Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia (Environment & Development) magazine. The initiative, which started in 2001 as an informal gathering of the magazine’s region-wide readers, was established as a regional organization on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. AFED has subsequently earned the status of international non-governmental organization, with the associated immunities for its secretariat based in Beirut.
AFED has been endorsed by the League of Arab States (LAS) and the united Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). AFED will work towards bringing together all parties concerned with environment and development in the Arab world to discuss regional and national issues related to the environment, in view of local and global changes, emphasizing the pivotal role of civil society and the private sector. It will group regional environmental organizations and experts with leading academic institutions, media and the business community, on common debate grounds to further the cause of environment and sustainable development.
The Forum, which will cooperate with regional and international institutions, aims at spreading environmental awareness through promoting sensible information and education programmes, as well as supporting civil society organizations active in the environmental sector.
AFED aims at encouraging Arab societies to protect the environment and use natural resources in a sensible manner resulting in sustainable development. An independent periodic report on the State of Arab Environment (SAE) will be produced by AFED, to be presented to the General Assembly of the Forum. The high-level annual forum will be designed to attract participants from the private and public sectors, academia, experts, media and civil society.