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

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Abstract

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.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Keywords

  • Agriculture, Conflict, Crop phenology, Iraqi Kurdistan, NDVI
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
JournalAmbio
Volume45
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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