ADAPTATION UNDER OCCUPATION
Communities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), particularly in Area C of the West Bank, experience the magnified impacts of climate change due to Israel’s discriminatory policies and practices. While adapting to climate change, Palestinians simultaneously endure coercive environments created by Israel to drive Palestinian displacement and forcible transfer. Future climate change projections for the OPT entail an increase in annual temperatures and a decline in rainfall. Consequently, the urgent need for proper climate change adaptation will continue to rise.
Israel’s practices of displacement and dispossession of the occupied Palestinian population is demonstrated by its practice of systematically targeting the resources necessary to maintain the livelihood of Palestinians. Exploitation of, and control over, natural resources has been central to build, sustain and develop Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. These resources include those that are relevant to climate change adaptation, namely land and water. The targeting of natural resources includes Israel’s obstruction of the development of the water and agricultural sectors, livestock production included.
The report, ‘Adaptation Under Occupation: Climate Change Vulnerability in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’ examines the applicability of community-based climate change adaptation measures in the south Hebron hills region, including inMasafer Yatta in the Hebron Governorate, one of the most climatically vulnerable areas of OPT. The report assesses the ability of the occupied Palestinian population to adapt to climate change within the context of Israel’s prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territory since 1967. The report further highlights how Israel’s discriminatory policies and practices imposed on the occupied West Bank, particularly in Area C, impede the ability of Palestinians to effectively adapt to climate change. Examining the applicability of international law, including international environmental law to the context in the south Hebron hills and the Palestinian territory at large, the report concludes that Palestinians residing in climatically vulnerable areas, are precluded from applying basic community-based adaptation options, without the genuine realisation of the collective right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources in the OPT.