The Stewardship Leadership Board for the Middle East and North Africa (STWLB-MENA)


The Stewardship Leadership Board for the Middle East and North Africa (STWLB-MENA) is a crucial initiative within the Global Center for Risk and Innovation (GCRI), designed to bridge the gap between GCRI's global strategies and the specific needs and opportunities of the MENA region. This board, comprising the chairs of all Specialized Leadership Boards (SLBs) relevant to MENA, along with the regional leadership team including the President, Secretary, and Vice President of STWLB-MENA, is instrumental in synthesizing GCRI's broad spectrum of activities into a coherent regional strategy. STWLB-MENA's mission is to align local efforts with international standards, promoting innovation, risk management, and sustainable development across the MENA region.


STWLB-MENA envisions establishing the MENA region as a global leader in sustainable development and innovation, leveraging its unique geographical, cultural, and economic strengths. It seeks to position GCRI as a pivotal force in driving meaningful change, setting benchmarks in sustainable practices, risk management, and technological advancements that ensure a resilient and thriving MENA region.


The mission of STWLB-MENA is to ensure strategic alignment and operational effectiveness of GCRI’s initiatives across the MENA region, integrating global standards with national strategies. It commits to enhancing the MENA region's role in global governance on risk management, security, privacy, and sustainability through innovative and collaborative approaches.


  • Chairs of SLBs: Leaders from sectors such as Industry, Academic, Engineering, Strategic, and Legacy Leadership Boards, tailored to the MENA region, offering multidisciplinary expertise.

  • Regional President: The primary leader who steers the strategic direction of STWLB-MENA and ensures its alignment with GCRI’s global mission.

  • Secretary: Handles the administration, coordination, and documentation of STWLB-MENA’s activities and decisions.

  • Vice President: Supports in strategic planning and the operational execution of plans, focusing on maximizing GCRI’s impact within the MENA region.


  • Formation and Governance of National Working Groups (NWGs): Initiating NWGs to adapt GCRI’s global initiatives into actionable strategies that resonate with the national contexts within the MENA region.

  • Supervision of National Councils: Monitoring these councils to ensure they are in sync with GCRI's overarching mission while leveraging local insights to contribute to global governance.

  • Direction for National Technical Councils: Overseeing the councils to ensure they effectively tackle local challenges and contribute MENA-specific knowledge to the global pool.

  • Strategic Consistency Across Levels: Ensuring coherence in strategies and operations from national to global levels within GCRI’s framework, focusing on common goals.


  • Strategic Planning Meetings: Facilitating regular strategy discussions, implementation reviews, and progress assessments.

  • Coordination Mechanisms: Streamlining cooperation between national initiatives and global strategies.

  • Performance Evaluation: Assessing the impact and effectiveness of strategies and initiatives across the MENA region.


  • Strategic Planning and Implementation: Guiding GCRI’s initiatives in MENA to align with both regional needs and global objectives.

  • Building Collaborative Networks: Leading the development of strategic partnerships and alliances to extend GCRI’s influence across the MENA region.

  • Promoting Innovation and Sustainability: Advocating for the integration of innovative and sustainable practices within national strategies across MENA.

  • Knowledge Exchange and Best Practices Sharing: Facilitating the flow of insights and successful strategies among national working groups and councils.

  • Capacity Building: Strengthening the abilities of NWGs, National Councils, and Technical Councils to address local challenges effectively while contributing to global goals.


Sahara Desert

Encompassing vast areas of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara, the Sahara is noted for its diverse landscape that includes not only dunes and plateaus but also mountain ranges such as the Ahaggar and Tibesti. These mountains harbor unique microclimates and rare species, underscoring the need for comprehensive conservation strategies that address both the desert's expansive arid zones and its isolated pockets of biodiversity. Efforts to combat desertification are increasingly incorporating indigenous knowledge and sustainable land management practices to preserve this vast ecosystem.

Arabian Desert

Extending across Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the UAE, the Arabian Desert encompasses unique features like the Empty Quarter (Rub' al Khali) and the An Nafud desert. These areas, characterized by extreme aridity and temperature variations, are critical habitats for species such as the Arabian oryx and the Arabian leopard. Conservation strategies are intricately designed to balance the preservation of traditional nomadic lifestyles with the protection of the desert's ecological integrity. Water management initiatives, particularly the sustainable use of underground aquifers, are vital for both human and ecological health.

Nile River Basin

The Nile River Basin represents a critical artery for agriculture, industry, and human settlement in Egypt and Sudan, extending upstream through diverse ecosystems in East Africa. This region's multifaceted water management challenges are compounded by the need to maintain the health of the Nile Delta, a critical area for biodiversity and agriculture facing threats from sea-level rise and salinization. Transboundary cooperation on water use, efficiency improvements, and delta restoration projects are essential components of the basin's sustainability efforts.

Levantine Coast

The Levantine Coast, stretching from Turkey through Syria, Lebanon, Israel to Egypt, encompasses unique marine and coastal ecosystems, including important nesting sites for sea turtles and habitats for a variety of marine biodiversity. The challenges of coastal and marine pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing are addressed through integrated coastal zone management approaches, marine conservation areas, and efforts to restore coastal wetlands and mangrove ecosystems.

Atlas Mountains

Spanning Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, the Atlas Mountains are a biodiversity hotspot with endemic species such as the Barbary macaque and the Atlas cedar. These mountain ecosystems face pressures from climate change, overgrazing, and deforestation. Conservation efforts focus on sustainable agricultural and pastoral practices, the establishment of protected areas, and initiatives to restore and conserve mountain water sources and forests.

Arabian Peninsula's Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

The Arabian Peninsula's coastal regions along the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf are distinguished by coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds, under threat from industrial pollution, coastal development, and climate change-related coral bleaching. Conservation efforts include the establishment of marine protected areas, initiatives for coral reef rehabilitation, and sustainable management of fisheries to ensure the resilience of these critical marine habitats.

Fertile Crescent

This historically rich region, extending from the eastern Mediterranean coast through the Tigris and Euphrates river systems to the Persian Gulf, encompasses a variety of ecosystems from riparian wetlands to semi-arid and arid landscapes. Challenges of water scarcity, land degradation, and conflict impact are met with strategies that include sustainable water management, land rehabilitation efforts, and the integration of conservation within post-conflict rebuilding processes.

Mesopotamian Marshes

The Mesopotamian Marshes, at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates in southern Iraq and Iran, represent one of the world's most significant wetland ecosystems. Restoration efforts following extensive drainage have focused on water reclamation, biodiversity conservation, and supporting the traditional lifestyles of the Marsh Arabs. Addressing upstream water management and ensuring the marshes' resilience to climate change are ongoing challenges.

Maghreb Coastal and Mountainous Regions

The Maghreb's complex geography includes not only the Mediterranean coastlines of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia but also significant portions of the Sahara and the Atlas and Rif mountain ranges. The region's diverse ecosystems face pressures from urbanization, overfishing, and climate change. Strategies encompass a broad range of actions from marine and terrestrial habitat protection, sustainable tourism, and the promotion of agroecology and reforestation in mountain areas to combat erosion and desertification.

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