Greetings from Ecology Committee of Rojava to the Social Summit for Climate (Madrid, 2019)

My name is Berivan Amara I’m responsible for the management
of ecology of the canton of Cizire. We’re very happy to be able to send some words to this ecology summit, where so many people are gathering, that so many people are interested in protecting the environment. We as well, in this system of the autonomous administration, a system where the people self-govern, we want to give great importance to the protection of the environment. In the past, no importance was given to this subject, or was not given with the philosophy
that we wish to apply. In the last 4 or five years we have developed the work well, but the start of the occupation of Afrin had a huge effect on our work. Thousands of people from Afrin were displaced and abandoned their land. Some of them live in tents, in camps. Women and children suffer the most from this situation. especially from the climate; in the winter and in the rain. Our work goes on in the Cizire region. but the recent attacks on Sere Kaniye (Ras al Ayn) and Gire Spi (Tel Abyad) have seriously affected our environmental protection projects. Much of our work has been stopped. For example, a thousand trees were planted in Sere Kaniye. According to information we’ve received. those trees we planted are being cut down, no one can protect them, and that clearly affects the ecological project. Also because previously we never had an ecological plan for the region. We had other projects for the city of Serekaniye and surroundings, this city has a lot of underground water sources and these springs must be protected. The waste water is mixing with the water from the springs, and we had a project to change this situation but its been stopped. We had built a water purification station, which has now been disabled due to the invasion. The population of Serekaniye has been displaced. Nearly 400,000 people, women, children, the elderly, the city of Serekaniye and its people, where can can they find a place? This is also an important theme to take into account. Those people who had been displaced from other regions. The problem has increased dramatically in other regions, such as Heseke. This means an increase in cars, in people, and this population increase has lasting effect. We can see the air in Heseke has changed, you notice the pollution just by going out in the street. Obviously more people means the generators are running for long. And where are those people?
Well, in the schools where the children would study, and they’ll be there until they can
go to the refugee camp or some other safe place. And until they go to the camp, what conditions are they living in? We do everything within our power. But everything has an irreversible affect on the environment. Heseke’s water depot that provides water for more than 1 milion people is located in a town near Serekaniye, Alok. In the time that the jihadists have occupied Serekaniye, they threaten to stop the distribution of water from that reservoir. They threaten us constantly. This means a big risk, not just for people, but also for the environment. This forces us to dig more wells, to be able to secure water to the population of Heseke, and which causes the degredation of the soil. And this has a lasting affect on all the environment. There’s also the problem in Qamishlo. Because the city is right on the border with Turkey, the dirty water of the Turkish state reaches the city and that brings a lot of dirt and disease. As much as we’ve tried to dialogue
to stop this practice, it is not stopping. It has gone on like this for years. Finally, I want to say that before the attacks, we had a very important project for garbage collection. Because as there are many collection centers
of garbage without the right conditions brings many diseases, such as lesmaniosis just as it spoils the fields and the soil. We had a big garbage collection project, but the people who were helping us with this project because of the invasion have left. Nobody is left to guarantee security. So this project has stopped. We want to say we are not just afraid for the people who live here, of the destruction of this system, of our political philosophy, but also for our environment. The planet does not understand borders and politics, Destruction of the environment affects everyone and everywhere. So many weapons are used here Contamination from weapons affects the whole environment. The whole ecological system will be affected, not just North and East Syria. This invasion brings us many problems. So we want to call out to people who realise the importance of the environment to help us stop the attacks so we can continue our work. Thank you.

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