New collection of essays on environmental policies in the Middle East and North Africa – Arab Reform Initiative

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(Paris / Tunis / Beirut, September 23, 2021) – The Arab Reform Initiative has published a collection of essays written by environmental activists and researchers as part of its new program on environmental policies in the Middle East and Africa North.

The program aims to create a community of practice for activists, practitioners and knowledge producers to share new ways of thinking and new forms of action on the environment in the MENA region.

The collection, titled Environmental Politics in the Middle East and North Africa: Proceedings from First Inaugural Conference, is made up of 16 essays and is structured around the four main areas of the program’s activity: analyzing the institutional and political landscapes that govern the environment. at the national level, highlighting responses and initiatives at the local level, supporting environmental activism and understanding the ecology of war and occupation.

“This collection offers a rich and sophisticated snapshot of besieged ecologies in the MENA region. It is written by people who share a deep understanding and experience of environmental harms and challenges and a strong commitment to creating livable and sustainable ecologies in the region, ”said Nadim Houry, Executive Director of ARI. “Its ultimate goal is to center the challenges and environmental issues of the region within a broader political framework. “

The essays are based on interventions made at ARI’s inaugural conference on “Environmental Policy in the MENA Region” held in June 2021, where activists, academics and journalists discussed environmental issues in the MENA region at the crossroads of governance, activism, popular mobilization, local politics and armed conflict. .

The essays cover a wide range of issues, including the state’s discourse on the environment and how it shapes the policies, models and strategies of resistance available to activists, as well as perspectives on environmental challenges. local and global challenges the region faces. They also point to areas that require further research, including how periods of war and conflict (which survive periods of fierce fighting) reorganize political economies and ecologies in ways that harm human health and local environments. regional in a little studied way.

Following the inaugural conference, ARI’s environmental policy program will continue to generate knowledge to better understand how environmental groups are establishing new transnational networks within the MENA region. It will work to build coalitions and platforms of environmental groups with other international and regional allies who can lead advocacy campaigns. The program provides a platform for environmental groups to generate knowledge and exchange experiences through roundtables and meetings.

The opinions represented in this material are those of the author (s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff or its board of directors.


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