The Future Earth MENA Regional Center (FEMRC) is working to develop strategies to help the MENA region adapt and effectively mitigate the emerging challenges of living in a climate change hotspot.
The Middle East and North Africa, or the MENA region, is home to roughly 400 million people and is 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.
Water in the MENA Region: Preparing for a Changing World
The Future Earth MENA Regional Center, in cooperation with the University of Bahrain, is organizing a conference on water issues that will have a distinct focus on the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA Region).
The conference will be held at the University of Bahrain, February 2 to 4, 2020.
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 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 Future Earth North Africa Regional Office, which is hosted at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
The FEMRC offers a range of support to researchers and other professionals in the region, including:
- A database 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;
- Hosting the Regional Nodal Office for the Global Land Programme (GLP), one of Future Earth’s global research projects;
- Assistance coordinating joint efforts to obtain competitive funding for Future Earth-related research in MENA countries, particularly with regard to European funding opportunities.
The FEMRC’s activities are regularly highlighted and can be discussed through the Future Earth Open Network under the Future Earth MENA Community.
The specific role and tasks of the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) of the Future Earth MENA Regional Center consist of assisting and guiding the activities of the Center; advising on strategic decisions to shape the Future Earth research agenda in the MENA region; and formulating the framework for a FE governance structure that will enhance regional collaborations to enable more effective progress in responding to the major sustainability challenges of the MENA countries.