The Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA), headquartered in Pakistan, is developing multiple sustainable projects with OIC member countries, including projects under its green Waqf initiative as well as a commodity exchange project, Yousef Hassan Khalawi, the secretary-general of ICCIA, told ISFI.
ICCIA launched its green Waqf initiative as its flagship program to combat the impact of climate change. Waqf projects under the initiative will revitalize underutilized or deforested land by either reforestation or through implementing sustainable agricultural projects.
The project will be implemented across OIC countries and will be in collaboration with the government of the implementing countries, international organizations as well as development partners. ICCIA will work with all stakeholders to monitor and supervise the projects.
“The main goals of the initiative are to use the previously underdeveloped or depleted areas of land to create sustainable socioeconomic opportunities for projects that benefit and support the restoration and preservation of the ecosystem and enhance the living standards of the most vulnerable segments of the population among OIC countries through providing employment opportunities that generate income,” Yousef shared.
Currently at the beginning stages of development, ICCIA is working with the Mauritanian authorities to start a feasibility study for the pilot project under the green Waqf initiative, a product of an MoU signed in December 2022. The feasibility study will also detail the logistical procedures for the project.
The green Waqf initiative is expected to contribute to climate resilience, food security, sustainable employment and the development of sustainable local communities in member countries. The initiative is also in alignment with multiple SDGs including SDG 13 of climate action and SDG 1 of no poverty.
Concurrently, ICCIA is developing a commodity exchange project to establish and implement modern agricultural commodity exchange markets (ACEM), fostering the value chain of agricultural commodities across OIC countries. ICCIA held a workshop on ACEM with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkiye and the Izmir Commodity Exchange in August 2022.
“Through three phases, the project is undertaking a study to assess agriculture-based economies within OIC member [countries], aiming to transfer such experiences in two selected countries within the OIC region and contribute to the establishment of a modern business model for ACEM operations,” Yousef detailed the progress of the commodity exchange project.
Also as part of its sustainability efforts, ICCIA signed an MoU in December 2022 with the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, which is part of the IsDB Group, to attract investment flows and support cross-jurisdiction green and sustainable financing among member countries.