Future Earth Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Centre

Photo: Stuart Rankin

The Middle East and North Africa, or the MENA region, is home to roughly 400 million people and has been called a climate change “hot spot." Here, warming temperatures may disrupt the availability of energy, water and food resources and the health of ecosystems from the Sahara Desert to wetlands of the Eastern Mediterranean.

These risks are compounded by a range of other pressures, including increasing demand for resources, urbanization and globalization. Similarly, the region is undergoing drastic political and societal transitions, armed conflict, forced migration and a flood of refugees. The result is that many communities in the region now face unprecedented challenges to their environments, livelihoods, safety and cultures. Countries in the region will have to devise appropriate and effective mitigation and adaptation strategies in order to manage the causes and effects of such impacts in a sustainable manner.

The Future Earth MENA Regional Center (FEMRC) works to identify and implement such strategies in a collaborative and regionally-coordinated way. It enables initiatives and activities that cater for the specific characteristics of the MENA region, its environmental and societal challenges and its specific strategies for enabling sustainable lifestyles and economies.

The center serves countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa. It is hosted by the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia. This relationship provides the MENA Regional Center with access to valuable resources and research infrastructures, such as  CyTERA, a powerful high-performance computational facility. The institute also offers capacity building and training resources for students and researchers in the region and a space for workshops and other events.

In order to enable closer contacts to the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, the MENA Regional Center is closely linked with colleagues at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

The MENA Regional Center hosts Regional Nodal Offices for two Future Earth global research projects: the Global Land Programme (GLP) and the Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS).

The center offers a range of support to researchers and other professionals in the region, including:

  • FEMRC has already assembled a data base of individuals and institutions carrying out activities compatible to the Future Earth research agenda and/or stakeholders and decision-makers in the MENA Region. This enables the center to facilitate linkages between colleagues from different countries.
  • At least twice a year, the FEMRC will publish an electronic newsletter called “FEMRC-News” to keep colleagues informed about the center’s past, ongoing and planned activities and about individuals and institutions involved in Future Earth research.
  • The FEMRC will assist and coordinate joint efforts to obtain competitive funding for Future Earth related research in MENA countries, particularly with regard to European funding opportunities.

Explore the MENA Centre

Global Research Project closely linked to the MENA Regional Centre: