ICAHD UK is mindful that the planet is in a dire situation. Drastic action needs to be taken to minimise and perhaps reverse global warming if the human race and hundreds of other species are to be saved from extinction. This consciousness informs all ICAHD UK’s work.
ICAHD UK keeps abreast of all legislation and best practice with regard to the Climate Emergency.
The focus of ICAHD UK’s work is in Palestine and Israel where ICAHD UK strives to raise awareness of the implications of Climate Emergency there, alongside its work of opposing home demolitions. Israeli policies have resulted in an environmental catastrophe on many fronts over all areas of historic Palestine.
This consciousness-raising work is mainly carried out through the monthly Demolitions and Displacement reports, the rebuilding camps and by the recommended study tours that are grounded in ICAHD analysis.
Supporting and Encouraging Palestinian Culture and Heritage
On the positive side, study tour participants visit the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability which is associated with Bethlehem University as well as other people and organisations who work to address environmental and sustainable issues.
ICAHD UK promotes and supports the work of the Institute and those such as Tent of Nations, the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign and the Good Shepherd Collective, in a bid to save the Palestinian farmer’s way of life, to prevent the loss of indigenous species and the loss of agricultural land to the building of illegal settlements.
However, our work also draws attention to the highly destructive practices of the Israeli authorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in terms of the Climate Emergency.
During the rebuilding camps and the study tours, participants learn about the unfair distribution of water where 80 per cent of water from the West Bank aquifer is fed to the illegal settlements and back to Israel proper. The Palestinians have their own water rationed and sold back to them at inflated prices.
The participants learn of the deliberate destruction of Palestinian water cisterns and irrigation systems. They also see the contrast of the profligate use of water in the illegal Israeli settlements where lawns, fountains and swimming pools abound – all this in an area which is notoriously short of water and becoming more so.
While the UK, the European Union and other countries supply small communities with solar panels, the Israeli authorities deliberately destroy them.
The participants in the rebuilding camps and study tours visit communities where not only homes are demolished but also fruit trees, terraces and animal shelters. In many areas Israeli settlers discharge their sewage over Palestinian fields and into once beautiful valleys.
Since 1948 and the time of the Nakba, the Jewish National Fund has planted forests on sites of destroyed Palestinian villages. To this day it continues to force Palestinian communities off their land, some to establish new forests. Israeli-planted forests do not contain the indigenous trees of historic Palestine but tree varieties that do not provide food (fruits, nuts) and which change the ph levels of soil, making it acidic.
Transportation and Accommodation
Air travel is the only practical way for participants to reach the area. But the camps and tours last a minimum of eleven days and are carefully planned so that the maximum benefit is achieved. Participants stay in simple hotel accommodation or a campsite with minimum facilities and not in plush hotels, thereby reducing their carbon footprints.
ICAHD UK’s Environmental Impact in the UK
ICAHD UK has no office and the work is carried out in the homes of our appointed consultants and the executive committee members. This means there are no emissions from transport as there are no daily commutes. Water, gas and electricity use is also kept to a minimum as they form a small part of people’s domestic use.
- The use of paper is kept to a minimum and core information and analysis is posted to the website. Documents and maps can be downloaded if required by visitors.
- Packaging is reduced as much as possible.
- Electronic communication and Zoom meetings cut down on the use of paper.
ICAHD UK’s executive committee aims to meet face-to-face four times a year. In normal times the main gathering for members – a dinner in London – is held the evening before the AGM and annual conference to minimise travel and therefore emissions.
Members are encouraged to use public transport to attend meetings and events to cut down on harmful emissions. Information about the nearest rail or tube station for our events is provided.
This policy will be revisited every three years.
Policy to be reviewed: September 2024