Archiv der Kategorie: Middle East

Jadaliyya’s new Environment page

There is finally a site for environmental questions on the Middle East: On Earth Day, April 22, Jadaliyya, e-zine of the Arab Studies Institute, has launched its Environment page.

The Jadaliyya Environment Page is a forum for innovative, critical, and incisive analysis and reporting on environmental questions in the Middle East. It invites contributors and readers to rethink these questions by taking a broad stance on what counts as an environmental issue. Whereas environmental questions in the Middle East are usually framed in terms the security of water or oil, this page purposefully seeks out a wide array of sources and perspectives in examining important environmental issues on the ground and across the region. As curators of this Jadaliyya project, we want to provide a platform that brings together diverse perspectives including, and especially, from those living in the region, indigenous voices, and grassroots approaches.

The launch page features, among others, articles on Smallpox in Monarchiq Iraq, a wind energy project in the Syrian Golan Heights and environmental racism in Palestine – the general picture, that Israel and Palestine are the sites where most research on environmental issues (from a social science perspective) is undertaken – is apparent here too. But as the new page is calling for more contributions, the geographic and temporal perspective might become wider.

Like on other issues, Jadaliyya is offering a Media Roundup with recently published news articles on environmental issues from the region now, an Essential reading list with important contributions in the field, and aditionally two podcasts – one on green islamic finance and an interview with the editors about their aims for the new page.

Conference on Mediterranean studies: Renewable Energy and the Environment

The 1st Annual Conference on Mediterranean Studies: Renewable Energy and the Environment: Social, Political and Economic Dimensions, will take place at Yaşar University Center for Mediterranean Studies, 4-5 June 2020.

“As energy politics remains a contested issue in the Mediterranean Basin, what political ecologies and future environments are emerging in the region? Can cooperation over renewable energies offer potential solutions? What are climate change and justice scenarios for different countries in the Basin? The first annual multidisciplinary conference on Mediterranean Studies is organized to encourage critical reflection around the encounters of overlapping energy and environment crisis in the Mediterranean Basin from economical, political and social perspectives.”

Proposals for presentation can be submitted until 15 February 2020, more information on the conference website.

Political Economy of Climate change and natural disaster in Iran

The Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS), Philipps University Marburg, is organizing a symposium on climate change and disasters in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, with a focus on Iran.

The aim of the conference, according to the invitation, is to provide a venue for presenting and discussing “cutting-edge research in natural resource management”, and to study how climate change and natural disasters (e.g., drought, floods, sand storms, earthquakes etc) affect economies and political systems in the MENA region.

“How quality of political, economic,and financial institutions may moderate the economic and human costs of climate change and disasters? What are the latest technical developments in dealing with climate change and disasters? What are the policy lessons from the rest of the world?”

Find more information and the full program here.

Auf der Suche nach dem Lokalen

Der Sammelband Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa (2011) enthält es einen interessanten Beitrag von Leila M. Harris. Er basiert auf Feldstudien, hauptsächlich ausführlichen Interviews mit der lokalen Bevölkerung im Südosten der Türkei, in jenem Gebiet, das im Rahmen des umstrittene “South-Eastern Anatolia Programme” (GAP, Great Anatolia Project, in Turkish: Güneydoðu Anadolu Projesi) “entwickelt” werden soll. Dieses größte Entwicklungsprojekt der Türkei soll unter anderem 22 Staudämme umfassen. Jenseits der kontroversen Diskussionen um das Projekt ergeben sich aus den Interviews, die Harris mit der lokal ansässigen Bevölkerung geführt hat, zwei interessante Aspekte:

Aber die interviewten Kleinbauern teilen gerade nicht die kritische Perspektive, die Umweltaktivisten, aber auch liberale Intellektuelle auf die “Entwicklung” des Gebietes und der damit verbundenen Modernisierung der Landwirtschaft haben. Sie sind vielmehr mehrheitlich der Überzeugung, dass die Probleme, die die technischen Neuerungen bisher hervorgerufen haben (etwa die Versalzung des Bodens) das Streben nach technischem “Fortschritt” nicht in Frage stellen:

“narratives reveal that farmers and state agents engage the evidence of environmental degradation to argue for more technoscience, and more state intervention, not less.” (204, Hervorhebung im Org.)

Ein Ergebnis, das Harris unter anderem auf die geradezu mythische Aufladung des Entwicklungsbegriffes zurückführt. Technischer Fortschritt in der Landwirtschaft wird als “point of entry for other possibilies wahrgenommen, perhaps even viewed as an opening for broader associations with modernity and wealth” (206). Die Moderne ist, zumindest im Südosten der Türkei, offenbar immer noch ein Versprechen.

Auf der Suche nach dem Lokalen weiterlesen