The Yemeni island of Socotra is the largest island of the Socotra Archipelago. The archipelago was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The highly isolated island is home to a large number of endemic species. Up to one third of its plant life is endemic. Traditional livelihoods of the local population, which numbers around 70,000, have been fishing, animal husbandry, and date cultivation. The takeover by the UAE started under the guise of humanitarian aid and reconstruction after cyclone Megh in 2015. The impoverished local population was in dire need of basic services. However, land and infrastructure were developed at a fast scale and pace, threatening the ecosystem and livelihoods on the island.