[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials related to environmental issues in the Middle East. It does not reflect the views of the Environment Page of Jadaliyya. Additionally, this roundup is part of the new Environment Page launch. All accompanying launch posts can be found here.]
Remember When Contemporary Art Solved the Climate Crisis? Art Asia Pacific (March 2020)
Sean Raspet proposes that contemporary art highlighting climate change could itself be part of the problem and that carbon accounting in the art world could become part of the solution.
How the Middle East’s Water Shortage Drives Demand for Live Animal Imports Guardian (23 January 2020)
Demand for meat in parts of the Middle East region has far exceeded supply and led to an uptick in the import of livestock. Climate change has reduced the output capacity of water-scarce agricultural areas and spiked the need for live imports. Animal rights groups have raised concerns about the conditions in slaughterhouses.
Environmental Disasters, Dictators, Corruption, Repression Raseef 22 (14 January 2020)
Drawing on post-humanist thought that rejects the hierarchy between humans and other forms of life, Maya Boty offers a solution to the current crisis. Read the Arabic version here.
هل وجد الفن المعاصر حلاً لأزمة المناخ؟ Raseef 22 (6 April 2020)
Environmental News by Country
Nearly 20 killed as 'dragon' storm brings widespread flooding to Egypt Middle East Eye (13 March 2020)
Rainstorms overwhelmed drainage infrastructure in Egypt, causing deaths and forcing widespread closures. More from Al-Jazeera.
يوم الطبيعة" في البيوت... هكذا ينهي الإيرانيون احتفالات السنة الجديدة” Raseef 22 (1 April 2020)
Restrictions prevented Iranians from celebrating Sizdah Be-dar, the end of the Nowruz holiday, by visiting parks and beaches in their traditional yearly celebration of nature.
Fears of a water shortage in Jordan surges amid coronavirus lockdown Middle East Monitor (23 March 2020)
Restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of coronavirus exacerbated concerns about water scarcity among the country’s citizens.
Iran upholds lengthy prison sentences for eight environmentalists Middle East Eye (19 February 2020)
An Iranian court upheld sentences for eight researchers from the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation. Another, Kavous Seyed, died in prison shortly after his arrest in January 2019. They were accused of spying on behalf of the CIA and Mossad. More from Radio Free Europe.
Coronavirus lockdown causes Beirut smog to lift The National (24 March 2020)
Quarantine has markedly improved air quality conditions in Beirut.
Lebanon Dam Business: Destroying the Environment and Squandering Public Funds Legal Agenda (18 March 2020)
The recent history of the Balaa and Brissa dams in northern Lebanon indicates extreme levels of governmental corrupation and mismanagement. Read the Arabic version here.
Infrastructure and the Trap of Neoliberal Development The Public Source (24 February 2020)
Organizing in the wake of the 2019 October protests in Beirut seeks to shift its focus to challenging neoliberal development projects that perpetuate inequality and degrade environmental capacity.
Be Careful What You Wish For, Lebanon’s Energy Curse Raseef 22 (19 January 2020)
Wissam Jabr warns that drilling for oil in gas in Lebanon’s coastal waters before systematic political reform will likely result in the squandering of any potential gains.
Environmental Authority: Israel's decision on nature reserves is a cover for settlement activity Wafa (16 January 2020)
Palestinian officials condemned the move by Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet to recognize seven portions of the occupied West Bank as nature reserves, in contravention of multiple articles of the International Criminal Court conventions.
Tunisia to abolish single-use plastic bags starting in March, full ban in 2021 Middle East Eye (7 February 2020)
Tunisia has issued a renewed ban on single-use plastic bags.
Submerging Hasankeyf (video) Middle East Eye (13 March 2020)
A dam project has begun to submerge an Anatolian town, displacing residents in the name of economic opportunity.
Erdoğan’s ‘crazy project’: new Istanbul canal to link Black and Marmara Seas Guardian (17 February 2020)
The President of Turkey described his own proposal to build a 45-kilometer shipping canal as “crazy.” Kanal İstanbul is projected to cost more than 12 billion dollars and would reduce water traffic on the Bosphorus. The project would upset the ecological balance overland and between the Marmara and Black Seas.
مزارعون يمنيون أنهكتهم المحروقات... فأنقذتهم الطاقة الشمسية Raseef 22 (12 March 2020)
Solar energy provides an alternative to the use of diesel fuel for farmers in Yemen.