The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

New MECW Project on Conflict, Environment and Sustainable Development in Syria

A little boy standing on a rock in the middle of a puddle.
Photo: Ahmed Akacha/Pexels

CMES is happy to announce the new MECW project for 2023-2026 which will focus on conflict, environment and sustainable development in Syria.

Over a decade has passed since the onset of the Syrian conflict, which continues to have dire humanitarian consequences in the region. Syria, with a population of approximately 17 million, ranks among low-income countries, with a gross national income per capita below $1000. Despite existing discussions on the connections between climate change, conflict, and migration in the Syrian context, insufficient attention has been given to the distinct effects of the conflict-environment nexus on various groups within Syria, particularly the Kurds in the north and east. These regions, collectively known as Rojava, have been implementing an ecological model under the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).

The project aims to maintain a dual focus on both academic/scientific inquiry and policy relevance. In line with our purpose, this interdisciplinary research project aims to answer two key questions:

  1. How do internal conflict and cross-border hostilities impact Rojava differently from other parts of Syria in terms of conflict and environment nexus?
  2. What role could regional and national actors in post-conflict Syria play in fostering sustainable development and environmental democracy?

Over the course of three years, the interdisciplinary research team at Lund University will employ a variety of methods, including satellite imagery analysis, archival fieldwork, and elite interviews, to generate scientific knowledge and policy recommendations for sustainable development and environmental democracy in Rojava, and potential relevance and application to Syria at large.

Research Team