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Environmental Pathways for Reconciliation in Yemen - Consultation Report 2024

Environmental Pathways for Reconciliation in Yemen -  Consultation Report 2024

Key findings

The results expose, firstly, an urgency to implement conflict resolution and prevention approaches sensitive to the perspectives, needs and priorities of Yemenis in the context of multifaceted climate- and environment-related security risks and the national conflict. Secondly, they highlight unprecedented peacemaking opportunities for conflict-sensitive natural resources management, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation efforts. Key findings include:

  1. Yemen’s population is highly aware of the impact of climate change in the country, which is being felt across its diverse geographies. While self-reported knowledge about climate change differs across socio-demographic groups, close to 70% of survey respondents acknowledged that climate change impacts their family and community lives. A significant 92% of Yemenis consulted perceived a reduction in the availability of and access to natural resources in the past years, notably in water, gas, and oil. Other environmental risks add to this, including different forms of pollution and extreme weather phenomena. Variations become apparent with a view to government-specific results, urging for tailored programming 
  2. Tensions and disputes relating to environmental factors are prevalent, often driven by the limited availability of and access to natural resources. More than half of survey respondents indicated that they have experienced or heard of tensions or conflicts in their district in relation to environmental issues. About 25% even reported adverse impacts due to such conflicts escalating into violence. Natural resource scarcity, access, and distribution are widely recognised as a conflict driver throughout the survey sample. Close to 70% of respondents reported tensions and disputes over water resources within their communities.
  3. Local voices indicate a clear imperative to address environmental risks and related conflicts more comprehensively, including as part of peace efforts. Despite the urgency posed by the impacts of the conflict, humanitarian, and economic crises, 85% of the Yemenis consulted considered it essential to address climate change in the short-term. Furthermore, over 60% of survey participants supported integrating environmental considerations into conflict resolution in Yemen. Local authorities are attributed a pivotal role in addressing environment-related issues but largely remain opaque and unreachable to the local population. Filling this institutional gap, local community initiatives and customary leaders emerge for their important role in tackling environment-related challenges and disputes.

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