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.

Photo by Cullan Smith on Unsplash

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

SDG's 3, 6, 8, 15, 16, 17
To the project blog




Pinar Dinc
Pınar Dinç has received her Ph.D. degree in Political Science at the Department of Government, London School of Economics in January 2017. Her Ph.D. dissertation, Collective memory and competition over identity in a conflict zone: the case of Dersim, explores the causes and mechanisms of ongoing competition over the nature of national identity through a case study of Dersim in the Turkish Republic. 

e-mail: pinar.dinc[at]

twitter: @pinardinch






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. 

e-mail: lina.eklund[at]




Petter Pilesjö
Petter Pilesjö is Senior Researcher at the CMES and also the director of Lund University GIS Centre (since 1995). He is a geographer and a spatial modeller.

e-mail: petter.pilesjö[at]