Proposed themes of the Nile Delta Symposium

The Media and the Environment
The world learns about climate change through the news media. Are they good messengers or bad messengers? When the message is one of doom, do they turn people off? When they offer hope, do they in fact? This is a chance to explore the role and the practices of the news media in telling the greatest story of our time.

Gender & the Environment
Men and women are found to have different roles and responsibilities in all societies, some growing directly out of their biological difference, and others arising out of cultural, economic, and social practices. Because of their roles, their vulnerabilities are different, as well as their opportunities and obligations. Their impact on the health and stability of the environment, and the impact on them of environmental conditions on them are not equivalent, and are worth examination. This discussion group will explore the lives of men and women in environmental contexts, particularly in Africa.

Innovative Actions from Business, Communities, and Non-Governmental Groups in Addressing Climate Change and Environmental Issues
Solutions to global environmental challenges require innovative actions at multiple levels.
What is the role of local communities, NGO’s and businesses in creating solutions?
What examples exist of innovative solutions from businesses, local communities and non governmental groups? This session will explore examples of actions that have been taken by businesses, communities, and NGO’s and address questions derived from these examples. Are these actions simply feel-good initiatives or part of a long-term solution?

Islam, Science, and the Environment
All religions and beliefs have reflected on the spiritual, mental, and physical relationship of humankind and the earth. In Islam particularly, the emphasis on the importance of the environment is explicit. There are many verses of the Holy Quran and quotations from the Prophet Mohammad concerning this topic. It has also been addressed by several Muslim publications and scholars in the last few decades as the environment becomes an increasingly relevant subject. Our aim is to explore the inter-relationship of Islam, science, and the environment.

Overpopulation & Migration
Overpopulation already confronts us with the conflict between our dearth of adequate resources and our overwhelming rate of consumption. There are currently 6.5 billion inhabitants of Earth. By the end of the century, we will, it is predicted, be 12 billion. How can we curb population growth and seek solutions to live and produce more efficiently?

Immigrants are arriving in waves in Europe seeking better conditions and the protection of belonging to the European Union. They are coming mainly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and other countries in which they lack opportunities for the future. Without the resources to receive them, the miserable conditions they endured on their journey can continue upon their arrival. Tensions are created from the strain the host countries and create social and administrative problems for both citizens and immigrants.

Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, and the Environment
Colonialism has radically changed Africa’s physical and human environment. Its negative impacts are lasting, prolonged often by ‘post-colonial’ control and exploitation. The expropriation of land and the overcrowding of indigenous peoples onto inadequate soils, the reduction of forest and inappropriate interference with rivers, have degraded natural resources. Commercial farming has replaced sustainable peasant agriculture. Imperial values and hierarchies have left a legacy of African self-distrust which hinders initiative to this day