War Impact on Dryland Environments and Social-Ecological Resilience in Somalia (WIDER-SOMA)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Geographical Sciences

Abstract

Current 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 impacts of war on dryland environments and establish the foundations on which to build 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 directly and indirectly 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 will: 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.

Planned Impact

1. Who could potentially benefit from the proposed research over different timescales?

a) Somali graduates in the diaspora (immediately and into the future)
b) Somali graduates in Somalia (2 - 3 years)
c) NGOs and Somali-led development agencies (as early as a year and into the future)
d) Somali communities - particularly the nomadic, semi-nomadic pastoralists and farmers (over the next 3 years)
e) International agencies such as the UN Environment Program and UN Development Program - Drylands Development Centre (1 - 3 years)
f) Humanitarian agencies and charities (e.g. ActionAid, US Aid, Oxfam) (3 - 5 years)
g) Other dryland states affected by war (between 5 - 10 years)

2. How might the potential beneficiaries benefit?

Education and training of the young generations of Somali graduates is key to enhancing sustainable development, promoting economic growth and building peace within communities. The benefits for both the individuals and the community as a whole are both immediate and long term. The current proposal will ensure recruitment of PDRAs is extended widely in order to attract potential Somali graduates based in the UK. A future proposal will centre resilience building around education and training of the young generations of Somalis both in Somalia and in the diaspora.

In the short term, the outputs from this project (dossiers, multifaceted GIS framework, data analyses, and maps) can be used to support ongoing development and environmental recovery efforts in Somalia by NGOs and Somali-led development agencies. Although this project will establish the foundations towards building resilience to land degradation in Somalia in a follow-on project, the outputs will provide useful evidence for other agencies to use in the interim period between this project and the next phase. Our partnership with Somali-based Transparency Solutions and the Somali First initiative will ensure that our results can reach the appropriate Somali agencies directly.

The long-term goal of this research is to help build social and environmental resilience to land degradation during and after war within Somali communities. Increased resilience to a degrading dryland during times of war is fundamental to Somali livelihoods and economic growth, particularly as 60% of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic pastoralists and farmers. In order for Somalis to build resilience, communities first need to know three key things: i) What is the extent of the land degradation problem (degree and spread)? ii) What are the causes of the problem? iii) What are the impacts on people? Answering these questions is the main focus of this proposal and our results will provide the critical stepping stone on which to create land use strategies and environmental recovery programs in partnership with a Somali-led development agency. The results of this work can have huge benefits to Somali livelihoods over the medium to longer term.

International agencies such as the UNEP and UNDP as well as numerous charities and humanitarian agencies, have ongoing efforts to rehabilitate drylands damaged by war in many conflict-affect dryland regions including Somalia. Our results will underpin and support their ongoing work both in the short term and over the long term. Additionally, the insights from our research can provide useful perspectives in recent legislation particularly regarding post-conflict environmental protection principles drafted by UN's International Law Commission. Our work can also provide useful evidence to various civil networks working to reduce the humanitarian and environmental impact of pollution from conflict and military activities (http://www.trwn.org/).

Over the longer term this research can be extended to other conflict-affect dryland states (e.g. Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and others). The work will provide a template for multi-disciplinary work and data/insights that can be used to draw comparisons with other regions.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Embattled Drylands art exhibitions 
Description Art exhibition entitled "Embattled Drylands: Tales of Human Resilience". We produced this exhibition twice: first in Bristol for 2 weeks within a free public art space. The exhibition consisted of photographs of warfare-human-environment links in Somalia taken by the award-winning conflict photographer, Susan Schulman, excerpts from the oral testimonies of the Somali community and visual outputs from the WIDER-SOMA project. The exhibition was also displayed at Bush House, Windows to the World art space in London, for 3 weeks in February 2018. The responses from the public were overwhelmingly positive - we have a comment book full of quotes should they be useful. The Somali community who attended were also very supportive and positive. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Comments from the public indicate that the exhibition stimulated a change in ideas, perception and attitudes - particularly regarding the conflict in Somalia and the humanitarian dimension. 
 
Description The aim of this research was to investigate how/whether war and conflict causes land degradation in Somalia. This is particularly important for Somalia and other contemporary conflict-affected dryland regions such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya etc. Drylands cover ~40% of global land area and support ~2.5Bn people, 90% of whom live in developing countries. When managed well, dryland regions can be productive and sustain agro-pastoral livelihoods, but they can also be easily perturbed to a degraded (less fertile and productive) state through climatic factors (e.g. drought) or anthropogenic activities (e.g. overgrazing, deforestation, land overuse). Conflict can both directly (through direct impacts on the land) and indirectly (through changes in human practices of land use) cause land degradation. Through this research we found: 1) At the country scale (whole of Somalia) there are statistically significant links between patterns in armed conflict levels and land degradation for the period 1989-2015. The results are robust across different models in which we explored relationships between conflict levels and degree of land degradation with 1- and 5-year time lags (i.e. does conflict in the previous 5 years help explain land degradation this year?) and other variables such as distance to conflict (i.e. the closer a place was to conflict, the more likely it was to be degraded). 2) At the local level the links between conflict and land degradation become more complex as the mechanisms begin to vary between militant groups and social communities. Here we find that conflict can lead to a multitude of different social behaviours which affect land use dynamics and therefore land degradation outcomes. In other words, at the local level, we need to better understand the various direct and indirect causal mechanisms linking conflict to land degradation. 3) Pathways to building social and ecological resilience in conflict-affected dryland regions are challenging to establish and require understanding local community practices and their changes under conflict, as well as large scale (country-wide) associations.
Exploitation Route Our partnership with Transparency Solutions (TS) and the Somali First (SF) initiative is key in our findings being potentially taken forward. The SF team often feed into policy-making at Ministerial level for Somalia and Somaliland, including intensive work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in devising Somalia's new foreign policy and direct participation through the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in devising Somalia's National Development Plan. The SF network underpins and enhances future communication and engagement with communities and actors in Somalia and provides a key pathway to achieving impact. Due to the short timescales, there was limited scope to engage with Somali communities and Somali-based development agencies directly during this project. However, our involvement with the Somali First initiative will afford us the capacity to extend our impact plan directly and swiftly to Somali communities in a future phase of the project. In the meantime, the new multi-faceted databases and analyses produced from this project can be used to support ongoing environmental recovery work and sustainable land use plans by other agencies in Somalia. We have already engaged with some of these agencies through our international engagement workshop on "Conflict-Environment Links in Dryland Regions".
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy

 
Description Cabot Innovation Grant
Amount £1,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Bristol 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 05/2018
 
Description Drought Resilience In East African dryland Regions (DRIER)
Amount £497,515 (GBP)
Funding ID CHL\R1\180485 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2020 
End 08/2022
 
Description Innovative data services for aquaculture, seismic resilience and drought adaptation in East Africa
Amount £809,141 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/T015462/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description Institutional Block Grant (University of Bristol)
Amount £43,610 (GBP)
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description Microbial analysis of Somali soils
Amount £16,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BRIS/103/07/17 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 05/2018
 
Description PhD studentship
Amount £2,410,000 (KES)
Organisation Government of Kenya 
Sector Public
Country Kenya
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2021
 
Description Scoping the Information Needs of Decision-Makers in Conflict-Affected Dryland Management (UKRI GIAA KE Grant)
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Bristol 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Partners and collaborators 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I developed the idea for this project - the main aim being to understand the impacts of war and conflict on dryland degradation in Somalia/Somaliland. The project is multi-disciplinary and requires a range of expertise and perspectives. The collaborators contributed expertise towards the different strands of the project, including quantifying land-surface change and conflict dynamics over time and space, and understanding the social mechanisms of dryland land use, vegetation/soil dynamics and resilience under conflict. My team provided country-wide analysis and macro-scale datasets of the relationships between conflict and land surface change as well as insights into the variety of possible mechanisms that may lead to this degradation over time. Ultimately, an understanding of how traditional resilience mechanisms are diminished during conflict, will enable in-country assistance and management towards more resilient future strategies. This is particularly crucial for Somalia which has been plagued by conflict and droughts for the last several decades.
Collaborator Contribution Transparency Solutions (Somaliland/Somalia) an international R&D company specialising in delivering Somali-led transformative, sustainable and positive change throughout the Horn of Africa region. TS were fundamental in providing Somali-led perspectives on conflict and land degradation issues, enabling soil sampling in Somaliland and helping with logistics, as well as introducing, sanctioning and integrating the project members with the Somali community in Bristol. Through TS, we forged a new partnership with the Somali diaspora community in Bristol. This community was fundamental in providing oral testimonies of land management and resilience strategies in conflict-affected Somali drylands. This community has responded with enthusiasm to our project, identified a great need for the research and provided a great deal of local perspective on the issues. PRIO provided the project with expertise on conflict datasets and analysis. They are the developers of the PRIO-GRID conflict dataset (https://www.prio.org/Data/PRIO-GRID/).
Impact Project outputs: 1) New spatio-temporal datasets of land degradation over 30 years in Somalia (based on satellite remote sensing) 2) Spatio-temporal analysis of conflict in Somalia 3) Macro-scale links between conflict and land degradation in Somalia; 4) Soil DNA, microbial biomass and nutrient levels within various degradation classes in Somaliland; 5) Oral testimonies of land use, resilience strategies, living with conflict, drought and climate change within agro-pastoral communities from the Bristol Somali diaspora; 6) Art exhibition entitled "Embattled Drylands: Tales of Human Resilience". We curated this exhibition twice: first in Bristol for 2 weeks within a public art space. The exhibition consisted of photographs of warfare-human-environment links in Somalia taken by the award-winning conflict photographer, Susan Schulman, excerpts from the oral testimonies of the Somali community and visual outputs from the WIDER-SOMA project. The exhibition was also displayed at Bush House, Windows to the World art space in London, for 3 weeks in February 2018; 7) An International engagement workshop held on the 12th February at RUSI in London which brought together academics, Governmental organisations and NGOs, charities, and other relevant practitioners to discuss 'Conflict-Environment Links in Dryland Regions'. The workshop sparked great interest from various sectors and explored various issues and challenges related to building resilience in conflict-affected drylands. From this workshop we have identified new gaps in our understanding of the issues and challenges that require bridging of several approaches. We are still in early stages of translating the outputs into impacts, but we have some key insights into conflict-environment links in dryland regions that we plan to take forward to better enable community-led resilience building within local cultural contexts. The project collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving various scientific strands (earth observation, dryland environmental change, soil metagenomics) and social-science and humanities researchers (world politics, military strategy, conflict analysis, national security and resilience, environmental history).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Partners and collaborators 
Organisation Peace Research Institute Oslo
Country Norway 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I developed the idea for this project - the main aim being to understand the impacts of war and conflict on dryland degradation in Somalia/Somaliland. The project is multi-disciplinary and requires a range of expertise and perspectives. The collaborators contributed expertise towards the different strands of the project, including quantifying land-surface change and conflict dynamics over time and space, and understanding the social mechanisms of dryland land use, vegetation/soil dynamics and resilience under conflict. My team provided country-wide analysis and macro-scale datasets of the relationships between conflict and land surface change as well as insights into the variety of possible mechanisms that may lead to this degradation over time. Ultimately, an understanding of how traditional resilience mechanisms are diminished during conflict, will enable in-country assistance and management towards more resilient future strategies. This is particularly crucial for Somalia which has been plagued by conflict and droughts for the last several decades.
Collaborator Contribution Transparency Solutions (Somaliland/Somalia) an international R&D company specialising in delivering Somali-led transformative, sustainable and positive change throughout the Horn of Africa region. TS were fundamental in providing Somali-led perspectives on conflict and land degradation issues, enabling soil sampling in Somaliland and helping with logistics, as well as introducing, sanctioning and integrating the project members with the Somali community in Bristol. Through TS, we forged a new partnership with the Somali diaspora community in Bristol. This community was fundamental in providing oral testimonies of land management and resilience strategies in conflict-affected Somali drylands. This community has responded with enthusiasm to our project, identified a great need for the research and provided a great deal of local perspective on the issues. PRIO provided the project with expertise on conflict datasets and analysis. They are the developers of the PRIO-GRID conflict dataset (https://www.prio.org/Data/PRIO-GRID/).
Impact Project outputs: 1) New spatio-temporal datasets of land degradation over 30 years in Somalia (based on satellite remote sensing) 2) Spatio-temporal analysis of conflict in Somalia 3) Macro-scale links between conflict and land degradation in Somalia; 4) Soil DNA, microbial biomass and nutrient levels within various degradation classes in Somaliland; 5) Oral testimonies of land use, resilience strategies, living with conflict, drought and climate change within agro-pastoral communities from the Bristol Somali diaspora; 6) Art exhibition entitled "Embattled Drylands: Tales of Human Resilience". We curated this exhibition twice: first in Bristol for 2 weeks within a public art space. The exhibition consisted of photographs of warfare-human-environment links in Somalia taken by the award-winning conflict photographer, Susan Schulman, excerpts from the oral testimonies of the Somali community and visual outputs from the WIDER-SOMA project. The exhibition was also displayed at Bush House, Windows to the World art space in London, for 3 weeks in February 2018; 7) An International engagement workshop held on the 12th February at RUSI in London which brought together academics, Governmental organisations and NGOs, charities, and other relevant practitioners to discuss 'Conflict-Environment Links in Dryland Regions'. The workshop sparked great interest from various sectors and explored various issues and challenges related to building resilience in conflict-affected drylands. From this workshop we have identified new gaps in our understanding of the issues and challenges that require bridging of several approaches. We are still in early stages of translating the outputs into impacts, but we have some key insights into conflict-environment links in dryland regions that we plan to take forward to better enable community-led resilience building within local cultural contexts. The project collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving various scientific strands (earth observation, dryland environmental change, soil metagenomics) and social-science and humanities researchers (world politics, military strategy, conflict analysis, national security and resilience, environmental history).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Partners and collaborators 
Organisation Royal United Services Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I developed the idea for this project - the main aim being to understand the impacts of war and conflict on dryland degradation in Somalia/Somaliland. The project is multi-disciplinary and requires a range of expertise and perspectives. The collaborators contributed expertise towards the different strands of the project, including quantifying land-surface change and conflict dynamics over time and space, and understanding the social mechanisms of dryland land use, vegetation/soil dynamics and resilience under conflict. My team provided country-wide analysis and macro-scale datasets of the relationships between conflict and land surface change as well as insights into the variety of possible mechanisms that may lead to this degradation over time. Ultimately, an understanding of how traditional resilience mechanisms are diminished during conflict, will enable in-country assistance and management towards more resilient future strategies. This is particularly crucial for Somalia which has been plagued by conflict and droughts for the last several decades.
Collaborator Contribution Transparency Solutions (Somaliland/Somalia) an international R&D company specialising in delivering Somali-led transformative, sustainable and positive change throughout the Horn of Africa region. TS were fundamental in providing Somali-led perspectives on conflict and land degradation issues, enabling soil sampling in Somaliland and helping with logistics, as well as introducing, sanctioning and integrating the project members with the Somali community in Bristol. Through TS, we forged a new partnership with the Somali diaspora community in Bristol. This community was fundamental in providing oral testimonies of land management and resilience strategies in conflict-affected Somali drylands. This community has responded with enthusiasm to our project, identified a great need for the research and provided a great deal of local perspective on the issues. PRIO provided the project with expertise on conflict datasets and analysis. They are the developers of the PRIO-GRID conflict dataset (https://www.prio.org/Data/PRIO-GRID/).
Impact Project outputs: 1) New spatio-temporal datasets of land degradation over 30 years in Somalia (based on satellite remote sensing) 2) Spatio-temporal analysis of conflict in Somalia 3) Macro-scale links between conflict and land degradation in Somalia; 4) Soil DNA, microbial biomass and nutrient levels within various degradation classes in Somaliland; 5) Oral testimonies of land use, resilience strategies, living with conflict, drought and climate change within agro-pastoral communities from the Bristol Somali diaspora; 6) Art exhibition entitled "Embattled Drylands: Tales of Human Resilience". We curated this exhibition twice: first in Bristol for 2 weeks within a public art space. The exhibition consisted of photographs of warfare-human-environment links in Somalia taken by the award-winning conflict photographer, Susan Schulman, excerpts from the oral testimonies of the Somali community and visual outputs from the WIDER-SOMA project. The exhibition was also displayed at Bush House, Windows to the World art space in London, for 3 weeks in February 2018; 7) An International engagement workshop held on the 12th February at RUSI in London which brought together academics, Governmental organisations and NGOs, charities, and other relevant practitioners to discuss 'Conflict-Environment Links in Dryland Regions'. The workshop sparked great interest from various sectors and explored various issues and challenges related to building resilience in conflict-affected drylands. From this workshop we have identified new gaps in our understanding of the issues and challenges that require bridging of several approaches. We are still in early stages of translating the outputs into impacts, but we have some key insights into conflict-environment links in dryland regions that we plan to take forward to better enable community-led resilience building within local cultural contexts. The project collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving various scientific strands (earth observation, dryland environmental change, soil metagenomics) and social-science and humanities researchers (world politics, military strategy, conflict analysis, national security and resilience, environmental history).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Partners and collaborators 
Organisation Transparency Solutions
Country Somalia 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I developed the idea for this project - the main aim being to understand the impacts of war and conflict on dryland degradation in Somalia/Somaliland. The project is multi-disciplinary and requires a range of expertise and perspectives. The collaborators contributed expertise towards the different strands of the project, including quantifying land-surface change and conflict dynamics over time and space, and understanding the social mechanisms of dryland land use, vegetation/soil dynamics and resilience under conflict. My team provided country-wide analysis and macro-scale datasets of the relationships between conflict and land surface change as well as insights into the variety of possible mechanisms that may lead to this degradation over time. Ultimately, an understanding of how traditional resilience mechanisms are diminished during conflict, will enable in-country assistance and management towards more resilient future strategies. This is particularly crucial for Somalia which has been plagued by conflict and droughts for the last several decades.
Collaborator Contribution Transparency Solutions (Somaliland/Somalia) an international R&D company specialising in delivering Somali-led transformative, sustainable and positive change throughout the Horn of Africa region. TS were fundamental in providing Somali-led perspectives on conflict and land degradation issues, enabling soil sampling in Somaliland and helping with logistics, as well as introducing, sanctioning and integrating the project members with the Somali community in Bristol. Through TS, we forged a new partnership with the Somali diaspora community in Bristol. This community was fundamental in providing oral testimonies of land management and resilience strategies in conflict-affected Somali drylands. This community has responded with enthusiasm to our project, identified a great need for the research and provided a great deal of local perspective on the issues. PRIO provided the project with expertise on conflict datasets and analysis. They are the developers of the PRIO-GRID conflict dataset (https://www.prio.org/Data/PRIO-GRID/).
Impact Project outputs: 1) New spatio-temporal datasets of land degradation over 30 years in Somalia (based on satellite remote sensing) 2) Spatio-temporal analysis of conflict in Somalia 3) Macro-scale links between conflict and land degradation in Somalia; 4) Soil DNA, microbial biomass and nutrient levels within various degradation classes in Somaliland; 5) Oral testimonies of land use, resilience strategies, living with conflict, drought and climate change within agro-pastoral communities from the Bristol Somali diaspora; 6) Art exhibition entitled "Embattled Drylands: Tales of Human Resilience". We curated this exhibition twice: first in Bristol for 2 weeks within a public art space. The exhibition consisted of photographs of warfare-human-environment links in Somalia taken by the award-winning conflict photographer, Susan Schulman, excerpts from the oral testimonies of the Somali community and visual outputs from the WIDER-SOMA project. The exhibition was also displayed at Bush House, Windows to the World art space in London, for 3 weeks in February 2018; 7) An International engagement workshop held on the 12th February at RUSI in London which brought together academics, Governmental organisations and NGOs, charities, and other relevant practitioners to discuss 'Conflict-Environment Links in Dryland Regions'. The workshop sparked great interest from various sectors and explored various issues and challenges related to building resilience in conflict-affected drylands. From this workshop we have identified new gaps in our understanding of the issues and challenges that require bridging of several approaches. We are still in early stages of translating the outputs into impacts, but we have some key insights into conflict-environment links in dryland regions that we plan to take forward to better enable community-led resilience building within local cultural contexts. The project collaboration is multi-disciplinary involving various scientific strands (earth observation, dryland environmental change, soil metagenomics) and social-science and humanities researchers (world politics, military strategy, conflict analysis, national security and resilience, environmental history).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Art Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Art exhibition entitled "Embattled Drylands: Tales of Human Resilience". We produced this exhibition twice: first in Bristol for 2 weeks within a public art space. The exhibition consisted of photographs of warfare-human-environment links in Somalia taken by the award-winning conflict photographer, Susan Schulman, excerpts from the oral testimonies of the Somali community and visual outputs from the WIDER-SOMA project. The exhibition was also displayed at Bush House, Windows to the World art space in London, for 3 weeks in February 2018. The responses from the public were overwhelmingly positive - we have a comment book full of quotes. The Somali community who attended were also very supportive and positive.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description International Engagement Workshop on Conflict-Environment Links in Dryland Regions 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact An International engagement workshop held on the 12th February at RUSI in London which brought together academics, Governmental organisations and NGOs, charities, and other relevant practitioners to discuss 'Conflict-Environment Links in Dryland Regions'. The workshop sparked great interest from various sectors and explored various issues and challenges related to building resilience in conflict-affected drylands. From this workshop we have identified new gaps in our understanding of the issues and challenges that require bridging of several approaches. There were at least 10 participants from the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia). We are still in early stages of translating the outputs into impacts, but we have some key insights into conflict-environment links in dryland regions that we plan to take forward to better enable community-led resilience building within local cultural contexts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Somali community focus groups 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We conducted 2 community workshops with the Bristol Somali diaspora, working with the Bristol Somali Resource Centre specifically. The two events explored various issues of life and resilience strategies in Somali drylands.

Workshop 1: Somali Resource Centre (Easton, Bristol)
A workshop with ~15 Somali former nomads, in which we asked participants about aspects of life in the drylands, the intersecting impacts of climate change and conflict on their lives, and discussed existing strategies of survival and resilience.

Workshop 2: Barton Hill Centre (Easton, Bristol)
An informal community event in which ~25 Somalis learned about the project, and contribute their recollections, thoughts, ideas (building on the more focused discussion of Workshop 1). We invited creative responses to some questions and themes around the drylands, which we incorporated in our exhibition. We discussed land use strategies in Somalia, impacts of conflict and droughts on livelihoods, and resilience mechanisms. The Somali community was supportive of our research and were enthusiastic about working with us in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017