Protection of the Environment in Armed Conflict (PERAC)

  • A River of Death -- Arabic version

    How oil pollution is impacting health and livelihoods in conflict-affected north east Syria

    July 2, 2020

    A River of Death shows how persistent pollution from a degrading oil facility has led to tens-of-thousands of barrels of oil flowing into canals and creeks, and ending up in a 160km long river. Through open-source investigation, remote sensing and local partners, this research demonstrates how the years-long pollution of the river has serious health and environmental implications for the thousands of Syrian families spread across 200 communities living along the riverbed, affecting tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural lands and bringing severe risk to drinking water sources through groundwater contamination, as well as potential effects on livestock.


  • A River of Death

    How oil pollution is impacting health and livelihoods in conflict-affected north east Syria

    June 30, 2020

    A River of Death shows how persistent pollution from a degrading oil facility has led to tens-of-thousands of barrels of oil flowing into canals and creeks, and ending up in a 160km long river. Through open-source investigation, remote sensing and local partners, this research demonstrates how the years-long pollution of the river has serious health and environmental implications for the thousands of Syrian families spread across 200 communities living along the riverbed, affecting tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural lands and bringing severe risk to drinking water sources through groundwater contamination, as well as potential effects on livestock.


  • Living under a black sky

    Conflict pollution and environmental health concerns in Iraq

    December 5, 2017

    ‘Living under a black sky’ reveals how the conflict in Iraq has left a toxic trail of destruction which could have severe health consequences for communities and reconstruction efforts. Among other dangerous developments, the report identifies a sharp increase of hazardous artisanal oil refining.


  • Scorched earth and charred lives

    Human health and environmental risks of civilian-operated makeshift oil refineries in Syria

    September 5, 2016

    The PAX report Scorched Earth and Charred Lives shows a sharp increase in the number of makeshift refineries in Syria’s oil rich Deir ez-Zor governorate, in the past four years, with the most recent analysis based on satellite images from June 2016. This research highlights wider concerns about the unpredictable consequences of conflict on public and environmental health, and urges the international agencies, relevant member states and their armed forces, and relevant humanitarian actors to prepare intervention strategies for dealing with the serious health impacts of civilian-operated oil refineries, as well as socio-economic development plans to support alternative ways of generating income.


  • Amidst the Debris…

    A desktop study by PAX, on the environmental and public health impact of Syria’s conflict

    November 9, 2015

    Four years of war in Syria has caused one of the biggest refugee crises in history. About six million Syrians are displaced within Syria, three million have left the country. The intense fighting has damaged many residential and industrial areas in the towns and cities of Syria and civilians living in these areas face a range of threats. Some of these threats come from environmental pollution generated or exacerbated by the conflict. Rubble, wastes, pollution from damaged industry and munitions residues may all present immediate and long-term threats to civilians and their environment.



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