The concept of sustainable development has a central principle at its heart: that development should meet the needs of the present, without damaging the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. MENA’s Sustainable Development has all but been taken before these days seriously enough to deserve any second look. Nowhere is this more prescient than in the Middle East and North Africa region, where political instability and a significant proportion of the population who exist on less than two dollars a day, are in stark contrast to the region’s vast natural resources and relatively well-educated population.

The MENA region is vital to global stability and long-term progress, and development issues cover environmental, economic and social goals.

The challenge, then, for anyone involved or interested in development in the MENA region, is how to best meet the needs of the present population, without leaving adverse impacts for the generations of tomorrow to deal with. This is where the idea of information sharing and exchange of professional ideas becomes so important. It is only by sharing experiences, knowledge and expertise, that the development community as a whole can move forwards together, and become a key contributor to stability and prosperity for all in the region.

The internet plays a vital role in this field, as it allows development professionals from across the 22 or so countries in the MENA region to communicate across physical and geographical borders. Whether it’s sharing stories of innovative ways to preserve historical and cultural landmarks alongside new infrastructure development, or learning new techniques of delivering clean air and water, internet forums are a fast-growing way for development professionals to share expertise and grow as a community.

Reading of Sustainable Development  Environmental Challenges in the MENA region : Accounting for the Environment in the 21st Century  by Susan L. Sakmar, Mathias Wackernagel, Alessandro Galli and David Moore is highly recommended..