The IUCN Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) covers the region of West Asia including the countries of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen.
IUCN ROWA aims to be active in all of the 13 countries in various conservation and sustainable development activities. The critical issues facing the region are:
- Land degradation, aridity and desertification
- Unsustainable water extraction and use
- Biodiversity and habitat loss, and species extinction.
- Threats to sensitive marine ecosystems through pollution, habitat destruction, introduction of invasive alien species, and unplanned coastal development.
Moreover, some of these countries face severe consequences of conflict and warfare along with its associated large-scale human suffering, destruction of infrastructure, and environmental degradation leading to a critical need of post-conflict environmental reconstruction.
IUCN ROWA's role is to coordinate activities on major issues in the overall region, such as: water, biodiversity, protected areas, and environmental legislation. As though environmental priorities are intimately associated with poverty, equity, climate change, security and conflict, mainstreaming conservation efforts with the development agenda becomes very crucial. Our mandate is to work supportively, and in collaboration with our members and partners, including NGOs and governments, to achieve a new paradigm for sustainable development based on the concept of people centered development.
IUCN key role is to share critical conservation knowledge with all of our members and partners. Our current focus is to provide services which bring "value-added" to the ongoing activities of members and partners, while also building awareness of the IUCN ROWA region and its special strengths.