COUNTRIES

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Syrian war has destroyed the lives of millions of people, but it also has had a detrimental impact on the environment. Inside the country the destruction is palpable, but further the conflict has affected the environments of countries outside Syria in many ways that are most often related to the fast displacement of people.

This is a journalistic research project on environmental impacts of the Syrian crisis and their solutions in neighbouring countries.

The aim is to look in to the environmental consequences and pressure that the Syrian crisis and refugee situation has on the countries that have received, and are currently hosting, large amounts of refugees. This conflict is an example of the fact, that in addition to the immense human suffering, war leads to environmental destruction – and vice versa, environmental destruction can also lead to war and more human suffering.

In our view, too little attention has been given to the environmental consequences of the crisis. This is why we started this project, which is a study combining science, art and journalism. It looks into the environmental consequences and pressure that the Syrian crisis and refugee situation has on the countries that have received, and are currently hosting, large amounts of refugees.

”-This is not the environmental impact of the refugees and migrants, it is the environmental impact of the Syrian war.”

Demetris Lekkas, specialist in waste management
from the University of the Aegean in Lesbos,
commenting the environmental consequences of the refugee situation on the island.

  • Water
  • Waste
  • Energy and landuse

Water scarcity is a critical issue in the countries of the Middle East. Countries have struggled with capacity challenges to provide sufficient water and sanitation services after a sudden influx of Syrian war refugees. Problems with proper water supplies and sanitation have an impact on the environment and also on refugees and local population.

Proper waste management might not be the first thing you think about in a crisis, but it is necessary in order to maintain a liveable environment and a healthy population. Mismanaged waste can have long term effects on the environment and even make the conflict and its consequences worse.

The Syrian conflict has created a lot of pressure on land use and energy supplies. There has been long term destruction to land and infrastructure in many areas inside the conflict zone. In the neighboring countries hosting refugees, more land and energy are needed to provide food, housing, roads and other infrastructure for the new residents.