Fighters from the Democratic Forces of Syria take positions at the top of Mount Annan overlooking the Tishrin dam in December 2015. (Photo: © picture alliance/REUTERS/RODI SAID)

An Ancient Practice with a New Face: The Use of Water as a Weapon in Times of Climate Change

Throughout history, state and non-state actors have used their power over water and water infrastructure to demonstrate the power they have to oppress civilians or gain ground in combat. Today, climate change and associated water scarcity make this practice even more effective and harmful. However, the use of water and water infrastructure as a weapon continues to be neglected in both the political and academic arenas. The time is long overdue for decision makers and scientists to raise awareness of and spur action that addresses this phenomenon, but as water becomes increasingly scarce it has become an urgent matter.


Humans and the environment are intrinsically connected, however currently in a profound imbalance (Photo: | CC0)

SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic is an Alert: Environment-Related Root Causes of Animal-Borne Diseases Need to be Addressed!

The novel infectious disease – SARS-CoV-2 – is nature’s alert to humans. Existing research on the links between animal-borne diseases, human behavior and environmental change clearly demonstrate how humans and the environment are intrinsically connected, however currently in a profound imbalance. Already 70% of “new or emerging” diseases that infect humans originate in animals. In the wake of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and associated vast global health, security and economic damage, the environment-related underlying root causes of animal-borne diseases cannot be ignored any longer.