The Middle East has some widespread and pressing environmental challenges ahead if it is to actively reduce the burden it's currently placing on the environment.
There is a massive over consumption of energy in the region due to the low rate of energy prices, additionally, electricity subsidisation has lead to many buildings being developed that are inefficient for the climate, not to mention the hugely inefficient water usage given its scarcity in the region.
But, what is becoming increasingly clear is that the Middle East cannot afford to ignore environmental issues any longer.
Unfortunately, there is often a lack of empowerment and drive when it comes to changing the situation, which is being fuelled by a lack of understanding in which people and businesses do not fully understand how their actions can both contribute to, or mitigate, risks to the environment.
People have to start working together to demand changes in the way that energy is consumed from the ground-up if environmental issues are ever to be fully addressed in this region.
One company that is working to change environmental practices in the Middle East is the UK-based design and engineering consultancy, Arup.
Arup is working to address the problem of awareness and advocacy by communicating to the business sector what measures can be introduce to actively reduce their carbon footprint and is offering hands-on solutions to ensure more sustainable projects are developed in the region.
As environmental issues have globally come to a head too late, there will always need to be more done, but it is encouraging to see that some developers have started to invest in, and are beginning to take environmental issues seriously in the Middle East.
Kelly Lewis is the editor of Sound & Stage Middle East.