Climate Stress Syria achievements in 2020

The year 2020 has certainly not been an easy one, and I believe many scholars have had to find creative solutions to the situation, from teaching to field work. We have done most of our activities online and it has worked quite well.

Here is a list of things that we have managed to do in our first calendar year (since the official start in March 2020):

  1. A successful online workshop and the establishment of a network of people working on the climate-conflict nexus or related topics, workshop report link here.
  2. Nine project meetings – from May to December we have met approximately once every third week on Zoom, to discuss progress and find solutions to challenges.
  3. A manuscript focused on the agricultural aspects of the Syrian climate-conflict narrative, coauthored with colleagues from Norway and Germany, about to be submitted early 2021.
  4. Literature review – we have started to get an overview of the literature focused on the Syrian climate-conflict narrative by putting together an annotated bibliography, currently including 16 peer reviewed papers.
  5. Surveys – we have put together a questionnaire aimed at people involved in farming in Syria during the drought between 2005 and 2010, and started conducting surveys.
  6. A seminar on “Research for Development to improve food security, resilience to climate change and livelihoods in conflict and post-conflict countries: the experience of ICARDA” online, through the Center for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies (CMES).
  7. A very interesting master thesis focused on land degradation, abandonment and migration in North-Eastern Syria, written by Berit Mohr.

For 2021, Lina will be on parental leave until mid-autumn and Pinar and Orwa will keep on working on the surveys. The first paper will hopefully be published early 2021, and a second manuscript done before the end of the year.

Happy Holidays!


on behalf of the project team

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