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New method for environmental monitoring in armed conflict zones: a case study of Syria


Today, armed conflict affects some twenty countries, covering an area making up 11% of the surface area of the Earth. Any degradation of nature in these areas represents a harmful depletion of the world’s natural heritage. Despite this, environmental issues are neglected during these periods of conflict, considered secondary to the urgency of restoring peace and safeguarding human life. Yet their consequences are potentially severe. In these areas, it is future generations who will suffer the effects of the current devastation for a very long time. In this context, the method developed in this study, named (Geographic Information System) for Environmental Monitoring in Wartime, can be used to calculate a risk indicator for environmental degradation, spatial monitoring and risk management. This will make it possible to identify the main threats to protected areas, catalogue the damage caused to the environment by armed conflicts and create a dynamic risk map. In this paper, GIS-EMW has been applied to calculate a risk indicator for environmental degradation in Syria.

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  1. When many species are in danger of becoming extinct, when damage causes irreversible degradation of the fragile ecosystems, when natural resources are irretrievably destroyed or contaminated.


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We thank Luc Semal, researcher at the Center for Ecology and Conservation Sciences (Cesco, UMR 7204), for his suggestions that significantly contributed to improving the quality of this study. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments that significantly contributed to improving the quality of the publication.

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Correspondence to Samira Mobaied.

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Mobaied, S., Rudant, JP. New method for environmental monitoring in armed conflict zones: a case study of Syria. Environ Monit Assess 191, 643 (2019).

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  • Method
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Armed conflict
  • Syria
  • GIS
  • Environmental index
  • Risk map