Leveraging science, technology, and satellite imagery to investigate resource exploitation and environmental crime
The nexus of conflict, environment and human health
It is onerous to assess how the environment is disrupted in areas affected by armed conflict, either directly by the conflict or indirectly through the uncontrolled resource extractions in conflict zones. We study the extent of ecosystem and human health risks that the countries face from exposure to human-induced crises.
Armed conflicts and the environment in Myanmar
Myanmar is a resource-rich, environmentally vulnerable, and conflict-ridden country. For more than five decades, life across much of Myanmar has been profoundly
affected by violent conflicts, particularly in ethnic minority populated
areas. Since the military takeover of the country in February 2021, the
lethal crackdowns on protects have led to the killing of more than 400 civilians
so far. In conflict zones, repeated incidents of the use of land mines,
burning, and mass displacement of people have been ongoing catastrophes for years. Our remote sensing analysis revealed striking near-complete demolition of inhabited regions, dramatic and highly significant increase in burning areas and substantial deforestation in conflict-affected regions across Myanmar.
Socio-economic and health impacts of conflicts
Migration and Livelihood
Fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) pose severe challenges to human development and threaten efforts to eradicate poverty and build peace. Since early 2012, the Rohingya refugee crisis has received attention from the international community due to crimes against humanity, international migration, and security concerns. As epicentres of one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, data deficiencies
in Myanmar and Bangladesh are of critical concern. Using satellite imagery, CEFWG was the first to document socio-economic and environmental conditions in Myanmar and Bangladesh through the lens of LULCC to generate reliable and reusable data for these FCV settings.
Voluntary repatriation has the utmost importance in the contemporary understanding of refugee protection.
The repatriation planning of Rohingya refugees is widely criticized as being profoundly premature and dangerous. Most of the refugees are set to return to destroyed villages where food and shelter are inadequate, ecosystem services overstretched, livelihood opportunities marginal and the physical environment unfit for human habitation. Investigating the view and perspectives of the refugees on the factors that influence their intention to return can inform the implementing actors to secure those conditions and ensure a durable solution. We identified the conditions that influence the decisions by Rohingya refugees in protracted displacement regarding return to Myanmar. This work addresses the dual challenges of repatriation and sustainable post-conflict reconstruction, and, more specifically, provides a framework on how to integrate ecosystem services in the repatriation process.
Pandemic in Humanitarian Settings
Covid-19 is a global health emergency and a systemic human development crisis. Marginalized populations’ ability to respond tends to be low and associated impacts can be serious for vulnerable communities. The virus impacts vulnerable people unequally. Pandemic containment measures can render vulnerable populations to multiple interacting stressors. We investigated the health and social vulnerability of Rohingya refugees in Malaysia.