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ITU Symposium Adopts Cairo Road Map on ICTs and Environmental Sustainability

4 November 2010: The fifth International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Symposium on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), which took place from 2-3 November 2010, in Cairo, Egypt, focused on the issue of ICTs, the environment and climate change in Africa, and the needs of developing countries.

The Symposium, which was co-organized by the ITU, and Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, brought together over 400 participants, including experts in the ICTs field such as policymakers, engineers, designers, planners and government officials. It helped raise awareness of how ICTs can be used to address climate change in the developing world.

The Symposium concluded with the adoption of the Cairo Road Map on ICTs and Environmental Sustainability, which aims to help enhance environmental sustainability through the use of ICTs. The Road Map is designed to provide a framework to assist countries in integrating the use of ICTs into their environmental policies and contains six key steps aimed to: provide stakeholders at all levels with a greater understanding of the positive role ICTs can play in enhancing environmental sustainability; and help improve environmental performance associated directly with the development, production, use and disposal of ICTs themselves. The steps are: sharing best practices and raising awareness about the benefits associated with the use of green ICTs; demonstrating success and feasibility; engaging the private sector, civil society and the academic community; promoting national, regional and international cooperation; integrating ICT, climate, environment and energy policies; and developing and implementing a national pro-growth green ICT strategy.

Following the adoption of the Road Map, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré highlighted that the Cairo Road Map is "a unique starting point that could be used by governments, in particular from the African and Arab regions, to design their national green ICT policies to promote the use of ICTs for the protection of the environment." The main conclusions of the Cairo Road Map will be forwarded to the climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of the year. [Symposium Website] [ITU Press Release]