[P6517] Shrinking Spaces, Excluded Communities, and Transformed Environments: Exploring Health and Environment Among Palestinians Through Eco-Social Approaches

Created by Weeam Hammoudeh
Thursday, 12/02/21 11:30 am


Eco-system degradation and land alienation for native populations are an inevitable product of the settler-colonial process. The loss of sovereignty over land, the change of landscape, the transformation of trees, herbs, and livestock are ubiquitous in different settler-colonial settings. These changes have their effect on human health. A key feature of the Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine has been the continued expropriation and fragmentation of Palestinian land through various means, including bureaucratic and administrative control of land, water, populations, and localities. Exclusionary policies and measures aimed at increased control and erasure of the native population are continuously employed and shape the lived realities and spaces that Palestinians inhabit.

The continuous colonial-engineering of space has transformed the environment, including altering natural ecosystems, expediting urban sprawl, and producing environmental hazards to susceptible populations. These environmental transformations are an important site of study in and of themselves, and in terms of the implications for the health and wellbeing of Palestinians. Agroecology researchers point to the importance of examining the critical ecologies of the relationships between people, plants, and landscapes and how these ecologies have been reshaped and transformed by structural processes; and their implications for the social ecologies of local communities. Concurrently, health researchers draw on eco-social theory to understand the health of populations through a multilevel lens that interrogates the intersections between political, historical, social, and environmental factors. Political, environmental, societal, and economic conditions interact with community, family, and individual conditions to produce health conditions. Our bodies embody these structures that shape our bodies and the spaces into which our bodies are born, age, get sick or disabled and eventually die in.

In this panel, we focus on the interplay between environmental transformations, resulting from exclusionary spatial policies and settler-colonial encroachment, and health in the Palestinian contexts. We also explore how settler colonialism as an ongoing process in Palestine has largely shaped the habitat, landscapes, behaviors and movements, and social ecologies of Palestinians in some of the fragmented geographies of Palestine and how that translates into different health conditions, including avoidable diseases and disabilities. Our speakers will explore the intersections between environment, social ecologies, and health in various fragmented geographic contexts ranging from the West Bank and Jerusalem to ‘48 Palestine.


Palestinian American Research Center (PARC)


Geog; Medicine/Health; Socio; Geog; Medicine/Health; Socio; Geog; Medicine/Health; Socio; Geog; Medicine/Health; Socio



Brian Boyd

(Columbia University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Maysaa Nemer

(Birzeit University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Weeam Hammoudeh

(Birzeit University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Usama Tanous

(Emory University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;