Sustainable Reconstruction in MENA

Urban areas and essential infrastructure across Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Gaza have suffered large-scale damage and destruction due to multiple, recent and ongoing conflicts. These countries also face severe levels of water stress and environmental degradation overlaid by climate change. Extreme temperatures coupled with lack of access to power are already exacerbating inequalities across the region. Reconstruction is likely to take place in a vacuum of environmental regulation, reducing countries’ long-term prospects for the inclusion of returnees, social stability and economic recovery.

Estimates suggest that over 560 billion USD will be needed across the region just to repair and rebuild what was previously there. Rebuilding allows the opportunity to benefit from the latest practices, materials and technologies adapted to a country’s specific climatic conditions and social fabric. Internationally agreed guidelines and principles and the capacity to apply them within both the construction industry and donor and finance institutions is essential to raise the level of accountability in this area.

Therefore, the World Green Building Council's Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region and Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UN-Habitat to commence efforts to encourage reconstruction efforts that foster environmental and social sustainability in war-torn countries across MENA.

The MoU will lay the groundwork for a regional agenda for sustainable recovery, regeneration and reconstruction in which the rebuilt environment contributes to healthy, resource secure and climate resilient societies. This regional agenda will be aligned with principles of sustainable development and build back better anchored in the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement and other global agendas. Research into past experience, local cultural practices and inspiring adaptive examples will be coupled with intensive cross-sector dialogue to develop geographically appropriate principles and actionable guidelines for sustainable post-conflict reconstruction in Arab cities.

For more information, contact Mohammad Asfour, Regional Head of MENA Regional Network at office@worldgbc.org

Urban areas and essential infrastructure across Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Gaza have suffered large-scale damage and destruction due to multiple, recent and ongoing conflicts. These countries also face severe levels of water stress and environmental degradation overlaid by climate change. Extreme temperatures coupled with lack of access to power are already exacerbating inequalities across the region. Reconstruction is likely to take place in a vacuum of environmental regulation, reducing countries’ long-term prospects for the inclusion of returnees, social stability and economic recovery.

Estimates suggest that over 560 billion USD will be needed across the region just to repair and rebuild what was previously there. Rebuilding allows the opportunity to benefit from the latest practices, materials and technologies adapted to a country’s specific climatic conditions and social fabric. Internationally agreed guidelines and principles and the capacity to apply them within both the construction industry and donor and finance institutions is essential to raise the level of accountability in this area.

Therefore, the World Green Building Council's Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region and Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UN-Habitat to commence efforts to encourage reconstruction efforts that foster environmental and social sustainability in war-torn countries across MENA.

The MoU will lay the groundwork for a regional agenda for sustainable recovery, regeneration and reconstruction in which the rebuilt environment contributes to healthy, resource secure and climate resilient societies. This regional agenda will be aligned with principles of sustainable development and build back better anchored in the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement and other global agendas. Research into past experience, local cultural practices and inspiring adaptive examples will be coupled with intensive cross-sector dialogue to develop geographically appropriate principles and actionable guidelines for sustainable post-conflict reconstruction in Arab cities.

For more information, contact Mohammad Asfour, Regional Head of MENA Regional Network at office@worldgbc.org