APN | Amman
6 March 2023
APN General Manager, Mariam Al-Jaajaa, was invited to speak in a Dialogue and Exchange Program (DEP) organized by AFSC titled "Climate Justice: Bridging the Gaps between Governments and Civil Society in the MENA region" as part of the dialogue between experts and activists with the objective of redefining climate justice in the Arab region.
In her speech, Al Jaajaa spoke on various issues including climate colonialism, which occurs when the difference in responsibilities between countries of the North and the South are ignored. Additionally, she addressed the South's struggle with the North over agriculture and the call to the global South to limit the activities of their agricultural sector to reduce carbon emissions, rather than concentrating on resolving the issue in their own countries and in the industries that are most responsible for affecting the climate.
She also criticized parties who sometimes act as project contractors for funders without accountability or standards about the objectives or activities of projects, while marginalizing grassroots and genuine civil society organizations.
Al-Jaajaa presented APN's perspective on the role of settler-colonialism in Palestine and the direct impact of the occupation on environmental pollution as it emits 10 times as much carbon dioxide as the Palestinians do. Moreover, Palestinians are the most vulnerable to and impacted by climate risks as a result of Israeli measures that are hostile to the environment such as uprooting trees and confiscating land, as well as the obstacles imposed by the occupation on Palestinians, which prevent efficient water management, and the transition to renewable energy. Al Jaajaa exposed Israeli lies including its use of greenwashing in its environmental projects and its attempt to impose green normalization on the region.
Al-Jaajaa presented APN’s recommendations which include transparency and partnership with genuine civil society organizations in addition to supporting the agricultural sector and small farmers by growing productive species capable of adapting to climate change. Other recommendations include supporting efficient water management, supporting the restoration and diversification of livelihoods, as well as providing information on climate and infrastructure among others. Al Jaajaa stressed the need to address the root causes of fragility specifically in areas affected by wars and occupation, and to hold the responsible parties responsible.
Following the dialogue the next day, participants in the discussion joined APN in planting 100 citrus trees in the central Jordan Valley as part of the Green Caravan program, which was supported by AFSC.