In preparation for its engagement at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow, United-Kingdom, from 31st of October to 12 November 2021, Al-Haq joins civil society organizations to call on world leaders to put human rights at the center of environmental policy.
In its open letter, Al-Haq and partnering civil society organizations urge that human rights must be considered as indissociable from environmental and climate change policy-making. Especially in the context of Palestine, appropriation, pillage dispossession and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, including forests, water, oil and minerals for the benefit of Israel, the Occupying Power, polluting industries and destruction of landscapes, including by private corporations, are some of the obvious features of Israel’s settler-colonial project and apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinian people and their lands.
In its report Climate Change Adaptation under Occupation: Climate Change Vulnerability in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Al-Haq examines and assesses the ability of the occupied Palestinian population to adapt to climate change within the context of Israel’s protracted occupation in Masafer Yatta, south Hebron Hills, identified as one of the most vulnerable areas in the West Bank. The report finds that Israel’s discriminatory laws, policies and practices imposed on the occupied Palestinian people hinders its ability to effectively adapt to climate change, to develop and engage community-based adaptation options. It eventually impedes on their collective right to self-determination, which includes their right to freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources.
Al-Haq urgently calls on world leaders to integrate any environment-related policy within the framework of human rights, especially when it comes to the protection of peoples’ right to self-determination and sovereignty over their natural resources. Tackling climate change and its adverse impacts requires the elaboration of a holistic approach to environmental policy that should place the people and their human rights at the center of any decision making, without leaving peoples living under colonial domination behind.
Read the open letter here