2 February 2009

Re-issued as received

Clean Technology Forum Opens in Bahrain

VIENNA, 2 February (UN Information Service) - The Clean Technology Forum (CTF), opened today at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre in Manama. Organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in cooperation with the Government of Bahrain and the Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the three-day meeting was opened by the Minister of Industry and Commerce of the host country, Hassan Fakhroo, the Managing Director of UNIDO's Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division, Dimitri Piskounov, and the President of the Arab Businesswomen Council, Shaikha Hessa Saad Abdullah Al Sabah.

The Forum is targeting high-level representatives of the public sector, private and public institutions dealing with environmental issues, international and regional organizations, NGOs, environmental organizations, business leaders, financial institutions, academia and researchers. Over 300 participants will discuss topics related to Water Management and Water Productivity, Renewable Energy, Cleaner Production and Resource Efficiency and Investment Promotion, during four technical sessions.

The meeting will adopt the Manama Declaration "Zeroing Industrial Wastes and Emissions through Cleaner and Resource Efficient Technologies and Products". Cleaner technologies are often technically and financially superior to conventional technologies, offering significant additional economic benefits for both developed and developing countries. However, there is little knowledge in developing and transition economies about the benefits of, and access to modern cleaner technologies and sustainable practices. In addition, in most of these countries, policies and the regulatory framework to promote their applications are inadequate or non-existent. Furthermore, highly volatile prices for raw materials and energy and the financial crisis may not only suppress the incentives to adopt cleaner technologies, but also reduce the availability of investments for cleaner technology transfer.

The purpose of the Forum is to help the Governments of the region to facilitate access to cleaner technologies and create capacity for decision-making in cleaner technology transfer, as well as to establish a Best Available Technologies (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) Forum for the Arab Gulf Countries and promote investment. Two side events, the meeting of POPs focal points at the BAT and BEP Forum for the GCC region, and "Clean Technologies as Platform for Competitive Economy" - a joint workshop of Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives and UNIDO - are also taking place.


UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system that works towards improving the quality of life of the world's poor by helping countries achieve sustainable industrial development. UNIDO views industrial development as a means of creating employment and income to overcome poverty. It helps developing countries and economies in transition to produce goods they can trade on the global market. It also helps provide the tools - training, technology, and investment - to make them competitive. At the same time, it encourages production processes that will neither harm the environment nor place too heavy a burden on a country's limited energy resources. UNIDO has 173 Member States and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. See also www.unido.org

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For further information, please contact:

Hashim Hussein
Head UNIDO ITPO Bahrain
Telephone: (+973) 17 536881
Fax: (+973) 17 536883
Email: unidobah@batelco.com.bh
Website: www.unido.org