War Impact on Dryland Environments and socio-Ecological Resilience in Somalia (WIDER-SOMA). Funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), K. Michaelides (PI) 2017-18

Contemporary wars are concentrated disproportionately in dryland regions yet little is known about their impacts and long-term socio-environmental consequences. The aim of this project is to understand the direct and indirect impacts of war on dryland environments and establish foundations for building socio-ecological resilience to environmental degradation during- and post-conflict. We focus this proposal on Somalia, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Decades of internal conflict have degraded Somalia’s vulnerable dryland environment with deleterious impacts on its people, the majority of whom rely on the land for their livelihoods. This project aimed to: 1) produce new multifaceted socio-environmental and historic datasets and analyses; and 2) build the interdisciplinary capacity and framework to understand the multiple dimensions of the land degradation problem and its causes. The long-term goal of this research is to convert this knowledge into sustainable land use in Somalia in partnership with local agencies and communities in the context of ongoing conflict.

Collaborators on this project:

University of Bristol

Sean Fox, School of Geographical Sciences
Marianna Dudley, Department of History, Centre for Environmental Humanities
Eric Herring, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo, School of Geographical Sciences

King’s College London

Nick Drake, Department of Geography
Robert Francis, Department of Geography

Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

Cathy Haenlein

Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Andreas Forø Tollefsen

Transparency Solutions, Somaliland

Latif Ismail