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Fighting Insurgency Ruining the Environment

FIRE (Fighting Insurgency Ruining the Environment) is a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 796086.

Landscape. Picture.
The FIRE project reverses this causality and delves into the connection between violent conflict and environmental degradation.

Interest in the relationship between environmental degradation and conflict is growing despite the lack of consensus over its nature. Yet most discussions of the environment-conflict nexus still take for granted the direction of causality and seek to demonstrate whether—or the extent to which—environmental factors such as droughts spawned by climate change cause or contribute to violent political conflict.
In pursuit of this aim, the project examines forest fires in the Middle East, employing a detailed study of cases in Turkey, Syria and Israel and posing the following research questions:

•    Is there a positive correlation between inter- and intra-state conflicts and forest fires?
•    How do conflicts affect ecosystems and their inhabitants and biodiversity?
•    How do conflicting groups discursively use forest fires?




pinar [dot] dinc [at] cme [dot] lu [dot] se (Pinar Dinc)


Pınar Dinç holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics.

She has been a postdoctoral researcher at Lund University as a Swedish Institute fellow between 2017 and 2018 and a Marie-Sklodowska Curie fellow between 2018 and 2020. Her research interests lie in the areas of nationalism, ethnicity, social movements, memory, diaspora, and the conflict and environment nexus in the Middle East and beyond. Since 2020, Pinar is leading the Turkey Beyond Borders: Critical Voices, New Perspectives project at Lund University. From 2021 onwards, she will be working as a researcher at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University.

lina [dot] eklund [at] cme [dot] lu [dot] se (Lina Eklund)

Lina Eklund

Lina Eklund has a Ph.D. in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis from Lund University.

Her Ph.D. project involved research on the link between people and land in Iraqi Kurdistan. She finished her Ph.D. in 2015 with the dissertation “No Friends but the Mountains: Understanding Population Mobility and Land Dynamics in Iraqi Kurdistan”. Her current research interests are placed within the fields of land system science and environmental security. With the use of satellite images and spatial methods, she explores the potential connections between drought, migration, land use, and conflict in the Middle East. She is a researcher at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University, where she leads the Climate Stress Syria project, funded by FORMAS.

petter [dot] pilesjo [at] gis [dot] lu [dot] se (Petter Pilesjö)


Petter Pilesjö is a Professor at the Centre for Geographical Informations Systems (GIS Centre) at Lund University.

He is a geographer and a spatial modeller with a Ph.D. in Physical Geography/soil erosion/GIS in 1992. Since 1986 he has been working with research and education in Europe and developing countries (mainly Africa, Asia, and the Middle East). His research is focusing on GIS in environment, health studies, implementation of GIS and pedagogic research e.g. in social sciences (regional development and economy), as well as on technical issues (modelling and algorithm development). Areas of special interest are hydrological modelling, topographical modelling/interpolation, coastal planning, morphometry, remote sensing, and positioning (including GPS). He has long experience in organising and conducting GIS courses and workshops in Sweden as well as in developing countries.