- Armament and disarmament
- Conflict, peace and security
- Peace and development
This SIPRI Research Policy Paper explores the role of civil society in environmental politics in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. In recent years, the Gulf region has seen a shift in official discourses and policies towards sustainability and the energy transition. This has opened up new opportunities for civil society actors to engage with policymakers and the public on issues such as climate change and environmental preservation.
Drawing on interviews with environmental activists from all the GCC states, the paper highlights the challenges facing civil society actors and the opportunities available to them, as well as discusses prospects for further regional civil society cooperation. The paper argues that policymakers in the GCC states need to further expand the space available to civil society actors and strengthen their role in environmental politics. This is in the interest of GCC states, who stand to benefit from greater cooperation with a dynamic, driven and generally well-intentioned civil society if they want to reach their climate targets and implement their ambitious national development strategies. Specifically, the paper recommends easing regulations and legal procedures, facilitating access to funding, supporting youth and female environmental activists, adopting participatory approaches, and facilitating the creation of regional platforms and organizations.
II. Challenges to civil society participation in environmental politics
III. Opportunities for civil society participation in environmental politics
IV. Prospects for regional cooperation between civil society actors in the Gulf
V. Conclusion and recommendations