Cropland changes in times of conflict, reconstruction, and economic development in Iraqi Kurdistan

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The destruction of land and forced migration during the Anfal attacks against the Kurds in Iraq in the late 1980s has been reported to have severe consequences for agricultural development. A reconstruction program to aid people in returning to their lands was launched in 1991. To assess the agricultural situation in the Duhok governorate during the pre-Anfal (A), post-Anfal (B), reconstruction (C), and present (D) periods, we mapped winter crops by focusing on inter-annual variability in vegetation greenness, using satellite images. The results indicate a decrease in cultivated area between period A and B, and a small increase between period B and C. This supports reports of a decline in cultivated area related to the Anfal campaign, and indicates increased activity during the reconstruction program. Period D showed a potential recovery with a cropland area similar to period A.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


  • Agriculture, Conflict, Crop phenology, Iraqi Kurdistan, NDVI
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
JournalAmbio: a Journal of Human Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch

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