Sustainable Developments in MENA

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On our way to a better future.

Saja Elmishri, Contributing Editor at Curated Today explores what the region is doing towards achieving a greener tomorrow. Discover how Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are involved in our communal race to sustainability. 

Over the past few years, the publics’ awareness has been growing around why a sustainable future is important for MENA and the world.

According to Vogue, general searches for ‘sustainable fashion’ went up by 66% compared to 2018. Lately, Google claims that specific words such as ‘zero waste’ have grown at a much faster rate than the broader ‘sustainability.’ This showcases that consumers are becoming more conscious of what ‘practicing sustainability’ entails and are looking for specific and tangible ways to make lifestyle changes that are better for them and the planet. 

But what does living a sustainable life truly mean?  Is it just about the small steps that they can include in their daily lifestyles or are there practical ways that encourage people to live more sustainably? 

To demonstrate, the United Nation 17 Sustainable Development Goals were designed as a universal call to end child poverty, tackle gender inequalities and protect the planet.  As much as the said initiatives are making a positive difference globally and are impacting communities and influencing global leaders to talk about emerging issues such as climate change, what is actually happening in the Middle East when it comes to sustainable developments

Photo by Zac Wolff on Unsplash

Qatar Foundation (QF) – Qatar: 

The Qatar Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to support a variety of causes in education, research, science and cultural development. The QF supports the country, Qatar, in moving away from its fossil fuel dependency and finding new ways to become a ‘knowledge economy’ that supports and works towards a circular economy in their region. 

One of the most recent examples is Education City based in Al Rayyan that allows students to gain a ‘western education in a middle eastern space’ – it’s an incredible system that fosters and creates innovations that can be developed beyond graduation. 

Fashion Revolution (FR) – Bahrain: 

Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit organization that aims to campaign for a more fairer, inclusive and sustainable fashion industry for all. You might have come across their acknowledged campaign which highlights #whomademyclothes, attempt to hold fashion brands accountable for their work practices when it comes to showcasing the garment workers behind the clothing. Since then, there has been a large emphasis on involving as many regions as possible from all around the world on this campaign to include them in the sustainable fashion conversation. 

Qiddiya – Saudi Arabia:

Qiddiya in Saudi Arabia is going to be built as an entertainment project that is to be launched by 2023. It aims to connect people in a space to enjoy sports and the arts. The Qiddiya project identifies with the sustainability vision that Saudi Arabia has set for 2030 by limiting its use of moving away from fossil fuels and identifying economical opportunities that are diverse to the region but also for people. 

In summary, even though there are growing sustainable developments in the region, it is important to find ways to get involved to quicken the race to a more sustainable future.