Dr. Hadi Jaafar, a panelist at the PERN Cyberseminar (May 10-18, 2021), presented a position paper on his work on Geospatial Environmental Assessment of Refugees: vulnerability and impact on the water-energy-food-health climate nexus: examples from the Syria – Lebanon case. In his paper, Dr. Jaafar examines an often-overlooked facet of refugee-environment relationships: water availability and use. Drawing on several studies in regions in Lebanon that host Syrian refugees, Jaafar illuminates with fine spatial detail how hosting 1.5 million refugees has affected freshwater availability, the consequences for energy consumption, food security, and climate. The paper shows that resource allocation to support refugees is not only localized to refugee-hosting regions in the short-term (during or after refugee arrival) but may also have national consequences over the long-term for refugee hosting countries.
This Cyberseminar convened scholars and practitioners from around the world who considered a range of case studies and examined the interplay of refugees, local environment, climate change and the broader social and political contexts that frame these relationships. Using new perspectives and innovative methodological approaches from geography, remote sensing, economics, disaster studies, and development studies to shed light on environmental and climatic challenges faced by refugees, the impacts of camps on the local environment, and potential solutions to address these challenges. The event combined field-tested approaches and analyses with nation-wide Big Data studies to offer a diversity of perspectives across geographic scales and regions.
The complete abstract can be accessed here. The Cyberseminar was organized by: Jamon Van Den Hoek (Oregon State U.), David Wrathall (Oregon State U.), Susana Adamo (CIESIN, Columbia U.), and Alex de Sherbinin (CIESIN, Columbia U.). Technical support for PERN is provided by the NASA-funded Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of Columbia University.