How can Syrian agricultural expertise inform sustainable development policy? Insights from the FIELD SONGS project with Syrian farmers in Turkey

25 January 2023

In this webinar, the project partners will share insights from the 2021/22 FIELD SONGS project, an AHRC-funded collaboration of agricultural and social scientists at the University of Edinburgh and Douzan Art & Culture and Syrian Academic Expertise, two Syrian-run organisations based in Turkey. For this project, the partners documented refugees’ intangible agricultural heritage and present-day working conditions in Turkish farming and met with local governments and Syrian agricultural entrepreneurs to envision alternative futures for Syrian labour. In a region shaped by intersecting forms of displacement and dispossession, including through climate change, conflict, and globalisation, we argue for an integrated approach to strengthening refugees’ rights as workers and agricultural experts.

In this webinar, the project partners will share best practices, such as municipal cooperatives for long-term refugee employment, how refugee farmers build new supply chains around traditional Syrian products, and how to link decent working conditions to climate-smart agriculture. Together, the findings on the continuing relevance of Syrian agricultural heritage and expertise can inform sustainable and collaborative policy-making in Turkey and other forced migration contexts. 

Learn more about the project here.

Register for this event here.

About the project

The One Health FIELD Network was launched in 2019 by Professor Lisa Boden at the University of Edinburgh. Through projects in Syria and across the Middle East, it collaborates with researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers to ensure a successful transition away from humanitarian provision of short-term food supplies and agricultural inputs towards long-term contingency planning for food security in conflict affected states. 

Douzan Art and Culture is a Syrian cultural organization launched in Turkey in 2019, to enable Syrians to build their contemporary cultural identity, through: Preserving cultural memory, providing spaces for interaction, building capacities, and enhancing solidarity and cooperation to build our cultural future between the heritage and modernity. 

Syrian Academic Expertise is a network of Syrian academics and experts in Syria and the diaspora. It implements sustainable projects and studies in various sectors to provide innovative solutions appropriate to crises and post-crisis contexts and contributes to experiences exchange to raise self-resilience and promote peacebuilding in Syria. 

Contact: Dr Ann-Christin Zuntz, University of Edinburgh