The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI), in partnership with Alternative Policy Solutions (APS) at the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis (MIPA), is spearheading a groundbreaking initiative to strengthen civil society's role in environmental governance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Generously co-funded by the European Union through its ‘Civil Society Facility for the Mediterranean’ and the Kingdom of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), this collaborative project aims to amplify the voices of climate change affected communities, democratize environmental policymaking, and promote an inclusive and egalitarian environmental transition.


The project aims to:

  • Promote Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and grassroots initiatives to meaningfully participate in public policies and dialogues on environmental justice.
  • Ensure the involvement of communities that are the most impacted by climate change and environmental degradation in policymaking.
  • Promote just transition," through ensuring benefits and impacts are shared inclusively across societies.
  • Facilitate the meaningful participation of marginalized groups such as women, youth, refugees, and migrant communities in decision-making processes.

Thematic Focus Areas

The project is aligned on three pivotal themes:

  • Food Sovereignty
  • Energetic Transition
  • Water Access/Injustice

Activities and Strategies

Activity Cluster 1: Policy Dialogues and Knowledge Production

  • National consultations and roundtables to connect regional dialogue with national dynamics and local stakeholders.
  • Special emphasis on youth engagement and gathering data on decision-making processes to aid CSOs.

Activity Cluster 2: Capacity Building, Regional Dialogues, and Networking

  • Formation of three regional working groups focused on each thematic area and the organization of annual regional conferences on just transition and climate justice.
  • Capacity Building and skills enhancement for CSOs, the media, and citizens to demand public accountability, with specific initiatives to include women and youth.

Activity Cluster 3: Dissemination and Outreach

  • Broad dissemination strategies, including bi-monthly podcasts, quarterly newsletters, video interviews, and social media campaigns.
  • Efforts to galvanize activists, practitioners, and knowledge producers around actions towards environmental justice, making extensive use of digital platforms and tools.

Youth Component:
Context: CSOs & Youth Networks in MENA – Shrinking spaces and limited policy impact

  • Ensure the meaningful participation of Youth in decision-making and create networks from the region to the region on just transition
  • Capacity Building and skills enhancement for youth on the principles of just transition
  • Support youth organizations in their advocacy work on climate justice and just transition in the MENA

This project combines the European Commission's commitment to national and regional dialogue, knowledge production, and capacity building with Sweden’s focus on institutional accountability and youth engagement. The co-funding mechanism ensures a comprehensive approach to achieving sustainable and just environmental policies in the MENA region.

By bringing together diverse actors and leveraging the co-funding from the European Union and Sweden, this project represents a significant step towards placing environmental concerns at the heart of broader political, economic, and governance dialogues in the MENA region.