Civil society organizations (CSOs) are considered vehicles of change. Alongside governments and the media, they play an active role in identifying local community needs and designing and implementing collective actions. CSOs are also beneficiaries of sustainable development. However, CSOs in Southern Mediterranean Countries face several challenges that affect their work and effectiveness. Moreover, they have been deeply affected, like other sectors, by the COVID-19 pandemic. CSOs can play an important role in the green transition. However, in order to fulfil their potential, more support from their governments is needed as well as help from the European Union (EU) and other regional and international agencies to enhance their capacities.
Several regional CSO networks – such as the Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)’s BlueGreen Med-CS and the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSD) – are currently active in the field of environment and sustainable development. The EU’s support in different areas could reinforce CSOs in their efforts with regard to sustainable development, making concrete progress towards the green transition and overcoming existing challenges at national and regional levels.