About "Make Rojava Green Again"

An introduction

Our contribution to the ecological revolution: Make Rojava Green Again

We, the Internationalist Commune of Rojava, want to contribute to the ecological
revolution in Northern Syria. To this end, we have started the campaign “Make Rojava
Green Again”, campaign in cooperation with the Ecology Committee of the Cizire
Canton. The campaign has three aspects:

  1. Building up the Internationalist Academy with an ecological ethos, to serve as
    a working example for comparable projects and concepts for the entire
    society. The academy will facilitate education for internationalists and for the
    general population of Rojava, to strengthen awareness and environmental
    consciousness, pushing to build up an ecological society.
  2. Joining the work of ecological projects for reforestation, and building up a
    cooperative tree nursery as part of the Internationalist Academy.
  3. Material support for existing and future ecological projects of the Democratic
    Self-administration, including sharing of knowledge between activists, scientists and experts with committees and structures in Rojava, developing a long-term perspective for an ecological Northern Syria Federation.

The first two concrete projects of the “Make Rojava Green Again” campaign are:

  • Realization of the concepts of an ecological life and work in the Internationalist
    Academy, partly with the building up a nursery as a part of the Academy. In the
    spring of 2018, we will plant 2,000 trees in the area of the academy, and 50,000
    shoots in the nursery.
  • Practical and financial support for the Committee for Natural Conservation in the
    reforestation of the Hayaka natural reserve, near the city of Derik, in Cizire Canton.
    Over the next five years, we plan to plant more then 50,000 trees along the
    shores of Sefan Lake.

The collective work in the nursery will also be a part of the education in the
internationalist academy, as well as a concrete expression of solidarity with the
communes, institutions, and structures of the population.

A pillar of the revolution: Ecology

People who are alienated from nature are alienated from themselves, and are self-destructive. No system has shown this relationship more clearly than capitalist modernity; environmental destruction and ecological crises go hand in hand with oppression and exploitation of people. The feckless mentality of maximum profit has brought our planet close to the edge of the abyss, and left humanity in a whirlwind of war, hunger, and social crisis. Because of this, developing an ecological society is a pillar of the Rojava Revolution, alongside women’s liberation and a total democratization of all parts of life. This is about more than just protecting nature by limiting damage to it; it is about recreating the balance between people and nature. It is about a “renewed, conscious and enlighted unification towards a natural, organic society” (Abdullah Öcalan).

Monoculture: Colonialism against nature

The results of the capitalist mentality and state violence against society and the environment are clearly visible in Rojava; the Baath regime was and remains uninterested in an ecological society throughout all of Syria. The regime always focused on maximum resource exploitation and high agricultural  production rate at the expense of environmental protection, especially in colonized West Kurdistan. Systematic deforestation made monoculture possible: wheat in Cizire Canton, olives in Afrin, and a mixture of both in Kobani have altered the landscape of Rojava. For several decades it was forbidden to plant trees and vegetables, and the population was encouraged by repressive politics and deliberate underdeveloppment of the region to migrate as cheap labour to nearby cities like Aleppo, Raqqa and Homs. 

Challenging the embargo: Ecological works

The attempts of the Turkish and Syrian regimes to strangle the revolution in Rojava by military, political and economic attacks, the war against ISIS, and the embargo, supported by the South Kurdish KDP, are creating difficult circumstances for ecological projects in Rojava. Although there are many current projects, including reforestation, creation of natural reserves and environmentally-friendly waste disposal facilities, the infrastructure of the Democratic Self-Administration is still in a difficult material situation, making these goals harder to achieve. The projects of most regional committees are either just beginning or in the planning stage. The ecological revolution, within the larger revolution, is still in its infancy. It lacks environmental consciousness among the population, expert knowledge, necessary technology, and a connection to solidarity from abroad.

Organized by

Desteya Aborî

Make Rojava Green Again cooperates with the Economic Committee of Rojava.

Internationalist Commune

The Internationalist Commune is our organizational structure within the self-administration in Rojava.

Desteya Saredarî û Ekolojî

Make Rojava Green Again is organized in partnership with the Ecological Committee of Rojava.

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