in collaboration with Birzeit University, Palestine
1. Aims of the Project
This research addresses climate vulnerable rural communities within the national territories of the watershed of the Jordan River (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory), which is perhaps the most physically and politically stressed river basin in the world, critically applying a human security approach.
The aim of the research is to develop improved policy responses for climate risk management within the Jordan River Basin through a better understanding of the linkages between climate change, adaptation and human security. The study will examine three core aspects of climate change in the region – climate vulnerability, adaptation to climate change and capacity-building for climate resilience:
The study will examine the human insecurity consequences of climate risks. By means of a collaborative network of researchers in the region, the study will examine the climate vulnerability of selected local populations.
The study will critically apply human security as a framework for understanding how marginal agricultural communities are likely to experience climate change as a process of short-term coping and longer-term adaptation. The study will contribute to domestic capacity building and improved policy dialogue about climate adaptation across the Jordan Basin.
The working hypothesis for the research is that the coping mechanisms already developed by rural communities to deal with the effects of seasonal and political change on water availability negatively affect their capacity to adapt to the additional and longer-term effects of climate change.
The project will be carried out in partnership with researchers from each of the Jordan River Basin territories, from the American University of Beirut, Birzeit University (both Palestinian and Arab-Israeli), University of Jordan and a Syrian academic institution, with specific research tasks as follows:
To identify the main determinants of climate vulnerability for selected rural communities in the region
To determine how current methods of adaptation by vulnerable rural communities serve to increase resilience to climate and other human security threats
To examine the regional links between climate vulnerability and human security in terms of humanitarian interventions undertaken by external actors;
To examine how state practices affect the capacity of vulnerable rural communities to cope with climate hazards
To inform policy processes aimed at reducing regional climate vulnerability
3. Outcomes and Impact
The findings and recommendations of the project will benefit three broad communities.
The main academic outcome of the research will be an enhanced regional understanding of climate vulnerability.
The research will also be directly relevant to the national adaptation plans being developed by the territories in question.
The project will benefit the targeted agricultural communities in question in a number of ways. For example, the human security evaluation of climate risk coping mechanisms and adaptive capacity will identify both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ dynamics in each community.
The project will deliver the following outputs: one comprehensive Policy Report; an edited book or journal special issue; opinion pieces in the international media; presentations of findings to research communities and policy fora.
4.Timeline: June 2012 - December 2013
July 2012: Project Inception Workshop - Preparation of Analytical Framework, Amman
July-November 2012: Baseline Data Collection and Fieldwork Preparation
January-March 2013: Field Research I
July-September 2013: Field Research II
October 2013: Final Research Workshop - Final Comparative Analysis, Beirut
November-December 2013: Write-up
Dr Michael Mason
Michael Mason is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Environment, LSE
Dr Ziad Mimi
Ziad Mimi is Associate Professor at the Civil Engineering Department, Birzeit University
Dr Mark Zeitoun
Mark Zeitoun is Senior Lecturer at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Janan Mousa, MSc Middle East Politics (SOAS), is a project researcher for the West Bank based at Birzeit University
Muna Dajani, MSc International Development and Environment (University of Manchester), is a project researcher for the Golan Heights based at Birzeit University
Dr Mohamad Khawlie
Mohamad Khawlie, PhD Environment/Geology (University of Illinois) is lead project researcher for southern Lebanon based in Beirut
Sireen Abu-Jamous, MSc Water and Environmental Engineering (Birzeit University) is a project researcher for the West Bank based at Birzeit University
Hussam Hussein is a project researcher and postgraduate at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. He has Masters degrees in International Relations and Diplomacy (University of Trieste-Gorizia) and EU Interdisciplinary Studies (College of Europe).