“Okeil”: we condemn the violations of the Houthi militia, which resulted in suspending many development and environmental projects in Yemen
“Emad”: we call on Arab governments to strengthen their partnerships in order to share experiences in climate action
Within the framework of its tireless endeavors to protect human rights and promote sustainable societies that preserve human life in a safe and good manner, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights releases its eighteenth issue of SDG 13 Observatory in the Arab Region under the title “Losses & Damages Caused by Climate Change in the Arab Region: Objectives and Implementation Mechanisms”, in order to track the measures and practices by Arab countries to address climate change and its effects.
According to the eighteenth issue of the Observatory, the Loss and Damage Fund was the biggest breakthrough agreement from the COP 27 Conference held in Egypt. Nevertheless, adaptation plans in many developing countries of the Arab region remain ineffective, especially with the intransigence of developed and rich countries that are responsible for the majority of global emissions, topped by the United States, the European Union and China, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar, on the Arab level, for fear of entering into a spiral of financial obligations.
Yemen, the country focus of this issue, witnesses serious environmental issues due to continued violations by Iran-backed Houthi militias and escalating civil war; thus, it ranked 171 out of 182 countries on the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, or ND-GAIN, which assesses vulnerability and readiness to climate change. Yemen is caught up in a vicious war, the effects thereof were not limited to the humanitarian, political and economic aspects, but also extended to the environmental ones, causing severe damage to the environment, and suspending many projects and plans aiming at confronting the consequences of climate change.
Commenting on the Observatory, Ayman Okeil, an international human rights expert and Chairman of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, denounced the Houthi militia's ongoing violations that marked the last 9 years, suspending many development and environmental projects in Yemen. Despite all the regional and international interventions to improve the climatic conditions in the State of Yemen, these interventions remain very limited and below the required level and there is still an urgent need for intensive and diverse efforts, including the development of a clear national plan and a comprehensive environmental policy system, Okeil stressed.
Okeil also recommended the League of Arab States to build partnerships with the Yemeni government to increase efforts and programs concerned with climate change adaptation, including storage of supplies, food, water and other necessary needs for societies, and he also called on financial donors to intensify their financial assistance to Arab countries, especially conflict countries that lack the existence of strong institutions capable of financing those damages.
The human rights expert recommended the League of Arab States to build partnerships with the Yemeni government regarding efforts and programs related to preparing for climate change, including the pre-positioning of supplies, food, water and other necessary needs for societies, and he also called on financial donors to intensify their financial assistance to Arab countries, especially conflict countries that lack The existence of strong institutions capable of financing those damages.
For her part, Huda Imad, a researcher at the Sustainable Development Unit at Maat, indicated that Arab governments must work to strengthen their partnerships in climate action, in light of the 2023 High-Level Political Forum of the SDG17 on strengthening partnerships undertaken by governments, by sharing their successful experience in order to share their experiences in climate action with other Arab countries.
It is noteworthy that the SDG 13 Observatory is a research periodical issued by Maat under the umbrella of the "Maat Platform for Climate Action", launched at the beginning of 2023. The Platform aspires to enhance the work of the civil society in the field of climate action, by launching studies and periodicals aiming to raise levels of climate awareness, in addition to organizing a series of training workshops and activities concerned with discussing mechanisms for addressing and combating climate change at all levels; national, regional and international..