From Environmental Activism to Sustainable States

Maximizing the potential of civil society in the Middle East

Many governments in the Middle East strain to respond to environmental issues. As populations grow and economic crises spread, access to clean water and clean air is an increasingly difficult challenge for many. Citizens have come together and formed local civil society groups to address some of these challenges. These groups often have a far more nuanced understanding of the social, political, and environmental contexts in which they are operating than international development actors. They also have a front-row view of how environmental issues affect states and societies.

CSIS is seeking to understand the diverse efforts of civil society groups working on environmental issues, exploring their successes and failures and the applicability of the lessons they have learned to other settings. Our analysis will take a region-wide, multi-sector approach to help international stakeholders refine their approaches to groups working on environmental issues, and toward civil society groups more broadly.

This project is part of the Middle East Transformation Initiative, which is supported by Bahaa Rafic Hariri.