Examining the links between climate, pollution and conflict in the context of Syria.
Dealing with both climate change impacts and conflict related pollution will pose serious challenges to humanitarian responses and socio-economic reconstruction in Syria as soon as the guns fall silent. Against this backcloth this article will explore a number of key issues: the link between environmental change, conflict and natural resources from the perspectives of the scientific community and humanitarian practitioners; the role of these interrelated phenomenon in Syria; and the stepping stones that can be implemented in a post-conflict Syria in order to minimize civilian harm and limit environmental damage. Although this exploration will be necessarily limited and preliminary – as it is hard to predict how the political constellation and governance structures of the country will look at the end of the conflict – it is worth perusing, in order to engage with a number pressing issues that are likely to arise, and to contemplate the lessons that can be learned from previous conflicts. This may enable us to meaningfully prepare for the time when reconstruction efforts must take place and to mitigate the inevitable humanitarian and environmental harm that will have been done.