Decolonizing Sustainability: A Vital Path for Our Planet
How do warfare, starvation, and land destruction intersect with environmental concerns in Gaza and Palestine, and what are the key environmental and social justice frameworks that inform our visions for a just, sustainable future? How are land relations affected, and what are the implications for ecological sustainability?
Join us for our online event “Decolonizing Sustainability: A Vital Path for Our Planet” where we explore the environmental dimensions of Palestinian livelihood and existence, and their global resonance. We will delve into subjects such as water apartheid, food sovereignty, Indigenous flora and heirloom seed protection, the impacts of weapons of war, and long-term repercussions on ecological systems. .We will gain valuable insights from environmental activists and advocates based in the West Bank of Palestine, and present scholarly perspectives on unfolding humanitarian and environmental challenges. Lastly, we will explore the connections between Palestine and international conceptualizations of climate justice.
This conversation will center the real time information, knowledge, and updates from two speakers based in the West Bank: Yasmeen El Hasan & Abeer Butmeh and Georgetown speakers Professor Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò & Professor Marwa Daoudy.
Yasmeen El-Hasan (GU Alum, SFS ‘20, MAAS ‘21), is an Advocacy Officer at the Palestinian grassroots organization, Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). From Yasmeen: “UAWC is an independent Palestinian civil society organization grounded in agroecology and focused on community-based agricultural development and the support of and advocacy for Palestinian land rights and farmers. As Palestinians indigenous to this land, we are its caretakers, and that grounds our work supporting farmers’ steadfastness and sovereignty over land, food, and natural resources in the face of settler colonialism and its disastrous climate impacts. We are also members of La Via Campesina, and the lead of the Arab and North Africa chapter.” UAWC has been working tirelessly to advocate for Gaza and Palestine, and has been supplying critical aid in the form of food baskets and other necessities to families in Gaza. Yasmeen will share more about their work, while also informing us about the realities in the West Bank, where many civilians, including the farmers she works with, have been under increased danger of attack and arrest.
Abeer Butmeh is an environmental activist from Palestine and coordinator since 2008 of the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network – Friends of Earth Palestine. She is from the city of Nablus, an environmental engineer who specialized in water and graduated from Berzeit University, an environmental activist, and current coordinator of the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network, comprising 14 organizations working for the environment in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It has been a member of the international organization Friends of the Earth since 2008 and is undertaking different political advocacy and protest campaigns with the aim of influencing environmental policies and Palestinian public opinion. Abeer Butmeh has been working in this field since 2006 and has participated in many local and international environmental surveys and projects. Abeer’s insight in recent webinars regarding the climatic and environmental impacts of Israel’s latest campaign has been invaluable. Abeer will tell us more about the damage being caused, and the responses that climate-engaged global communities must take in these moments and going forward.
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. Dr. Táíwò’s work on climate justice as a reparational, world-building philosophy, requires us to think carefully about racial, social, and economic justice at this time of climate catastrophe. His connections to our West Bank speakers’ words will amplify the lessons and learnings we must take from the environmental impacts of colonization both through history and in our present day.
Marwa Daoudy is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (SFS) and the Seif Ghobash Chair in Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS). Dr. Daoudy has done extensive work regarding climate change, human security, and power asymmetry, especially in the MENA/SWANA region. Dr. Doudy’s insight on water divides and migration, as well as the political machinations of international climate movements, summits, and agreements, will highlight several crucial aspects of climate justice regarding Palestine, as well as the interconnectedness of climate change with global political power dynamics.