Climate change and environmental challenges are among the most important issues determining the future of the MENA region, and Europe’s relationship with the MENA. Issues like water management and pollution are directly related to a lack of economic perspectives and conflict.
For Dutch stakeholders it may be challenging to identify and connect with local initiatives and partners in the Middle East. In the past year, het Grote Midden Oosten Platform (GMOP) therefore developed a mapping of ‘builders and sowers’ in the MENA: individuals, organisations, businesses and initiatives working towards a sustainable world. Our database currently contains details and contact information of more than 400 activists, NGOs, entrepreneurs and researchers from the whole region.
In May 2020 we presented our mapping to Dutch (social) enterprises, NGOs and policy makers. Furthermore, we produced a short video and published an article (also published by MO*) to present our case and reach more people. These experiences and the responses we received both from Dutch stakeholders and from sustainable actors in the MENA encouraged us to accelerate the development of a Green MENA network.
Besides a number of thematic (water, media/environment, youth/climate) and regional (Mediterranean, Mesopotamian) networks for NGOs, there is no MENA-wide interdisciplinary network that connects entrepreneurs, activists and NGOs. During a meeting in August 2020 in which 10% of our database contacts participated, there was agreement on the benefits of such a network. There was also agreement that an organisation like GMOP can provide a bridge to Europe. GMOP, as a European outsider, can support the visibility of a Green MENA network, and help connect various stakeholders.
GMOP will continue to develop our database to include more initiatives and people. At the same time, we implement activities that encourage the exchange of knowledge and collaboration between members of the Green MENA network. In all our events, we collaborate with MENA based organisations.
If you are a green, sustainable organisation, entrepreneur, researcher or activist from one of the MENA countries, and want to be included in the network, please reach out to us.