UNESCO to send mission to Yemen’s Socotra over threats to biodiversity

UNESCO is to send a mission to the Yemeni island of Socotra which is a World Heritage Site amid concerns over increasing threats to the archipelago’s unique biodiversity.

According to the Socotra Post, a Yemeni government official discussed with UNESCO to send a mission to the island to inspect the conditions of its nature reserve, which is said to be under the control of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC).

Yemen’s delegate to UNESCO, Muhammad Jumaih, said on Twitter that he met with Mechtild Rossler, the director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre on Saturday in Paris where he discussed the plans.

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Jumaih said that UNESCO is looking into a way to transfer its mission to the island to carry out reports on the status of the natural reserve.

The island’s capital, along with government facilities and military bases were taken over by STC forces in June. Many locals consider the STC’s patrons the UAE as an occupying force on the island.

Earlier this month it was reported that Socotrans had resorted to logging due to a gas shortage, which has led to fears of the environmental impact on the island. The fuel shortage is said to be “man-made” caused by the UAE-backed militia operating on the island.

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