Going global

IEMA membership is growing worldwide. John Barwise talks to members of the expanding network in the Middle East

IEMA members and other environment professionals working in developed economies can always rely on regulations and a high level of public scrutiny to support their efforts to improve performance in organisations. This is not always the case in emerging economies, where governance and cultural priorities can be very different and practitioners face the challenge of fostering stewardship in regions where environmental legislation is evolving.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a diverse region where IEMA is increasingly active. The area encompasses 18 countries, the Palestinian territories and Western Sahara, and includes some of the world’s wealthiest nations and some of its poorest. Its combined population of more than 320 million is forecast to double over the next 40 years. GDP per capita ranges from $2,500 in Yemen to more than $41,800 in the United Arab Emirates. Some countries have large reserves of oil and gas, while others struggle to sustain water supplies. These features provide some unique challenges for members of IEMA’s expanding network in the region.

Host of challenges

Despite the socio-economic differences, a study by the University of Gothenburg identifies many similarities between the countries. Environmental and Climate Change Policy Brief describes MENA as one of the most arid ...

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