Saturday’s Green News Snippets from the Middle East

syria-food-saudi-qatar-climateFrom food shortages in Syria to green energy in Jordan, this news round-up will help keep you in the know

It’s been busy here at GreenProphet HQ and the stories that have got us talking this week include the wind-powered minesweeper, shocking seal killing revelations as well the upcoming first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.  These major stories may have stolen the limelight but I’ve scoured the internet for interesting tidbits on all the latest green news from the region. This includes a petition for Green energy in Jordan, food shortages in Syria and also the dangers of equating climate change to security- especially in the Middle East. So read on and tell us what stories have caught your eye this week.Syria faces more food shortage worries

Political conflict, price hikes and import challenges are adding up to an increasingly precarious food situation for Syrians. IRIN reports that unrest has also made it difficult for aid workers to provide support to the estimated 1.4 million who have become food insecure since March 2011.
::IRIN News

Support Green Energy in Jordan
Ayah Alfawaris has created a petition to ask the ministry of energy and mineral resource in Jordan to pursue green energy. Titled as the ‘wake up call’, it states it wants to send a loud and clear message to world leaders and decision makers to take a significant step towards clean energy. The demands are listed below- if you like what you read you can sign the petition here.

We demand the minister of energy and mineral resources to start three major renewable energy projects (solar, wind, geothermal, etc) in the south, north and the middle of Jordan and they must be nationally and independently planned, supervised and worked for.
We demand that these projects exploit Jordan’s natural renewable resources to produce a minimum of 500kWh in the south, north, and middle regions of Jordan, offsetting the demands of the less fortunate areas, towns, and villages.

Dangers of Framing Climate Change as a Security in MENA
Kate Harris has an interesting piece at Alternet highlighting the dangers of linking climate change issues to security:

In many ways, framing climate change as a security issue has helped to raise awareness of its critical importance. It may even have contributed to increased policy traction.

But it is a dangerous tactic to gain popular attention. First, for those who want to identify the possible connections between a changing climate and the potential for increased violent conflict, nuance is key (as un-sexy as that may be). Second, it is unwise to promote such a narrative, given the role of perceptions in conflict. It is not, as conflict and security folk would say, “conflict sensitive”.

Take the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territory) as an example. Evidence shows that perceptions matter. As an International Institute for Sustainable Development report argues, “in the context of continuing distrust and political tension it is possible to imagine that allocations of resources could become increasingly tense. Control over them may become perceived as an increasingly key dimension of national security, and resource scarcity could be a pretext for their greater militarisation”.


: Image via GreenProphet/flickr.

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