FILE: Israeli soldiers assault Palestinians during the olive harvest in the occupied West Bank

Israeli violations biggest threat to Palestinian biodiversity

RAMALLAH, (WAFA) — Marking World Environment Day, which coincides on June 5 under the theme of “Biodiversity”, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Environment Quality Authority (EQA) accused in a joint statement the Israeli occupation of being the main cause of biodiversity deterioration in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Biodiversity in Palestine suffers from great threats and dangers, which may lead to the extinction of many living organisms and their disappearance very quickly if the necessary measures are not taken to stop them and their impacts, they said.

Among these threats are the continuous Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands, natural resources and related activities such as the establishment of Israeli settlements on green lands and natural reserves, the construction of bypass roads, the construction of the annexation and expansion wall, as well as the resultant of these Israeli activities of bulldozing forest lands, logging, fragmentation, fragmentation habitats and natural environments, dispersal of populations for wildlife, in addition to placing many species on the list of endangered species.

The PCBS and EQA also attributed the threat to the Palestinian biodiversity to the invasive alien species, whether they were birds or plants, that inhabit natural habitats and fragile and vulnerable ecosystems that did not exist in Palestine.

These invasive alien species, they said, lead to a disruption in the ecosystems and causing major impacts on indigenous plant and animal communities and the lack of services they provide, in addition to depleting natural environmental sources such as overfishing, overgrazing and logging, as well as pollution resulting from human activities, such as solid waste, agricultural waste and excessive use of pesticides in addition to pollution with wastewater.

Other contributions to the threats include desertification and the accompanying deterioration of productive and fertile lands and the lack of food production and; thus, weak national food security, in addition to weak scientific research related to biological diversity, weak public awareness of the importance of biological diversity and its sustainability for future generations, the scarcity of financial resources and the failure to allocate a budget for the conservation of biological diversity and its components.