The Southeastern Anatolia Project: An International Conflict Objectives: TLW analyze the causes for regional conflict in Southwest Asia TLW evaluate natural resource management as a public policy issue on local, national and international levels Time Required: 1-2 days Standards Addressed (World Geography TEKS): 8B – Compare ways humans depend on, adapt to, and modify the physical environment using local, state, national, and international human activities in a variety of cultural and technological contexts 15A – Identify and give examples of different points of view that influence the development of public policies and decision-making processes on local, state, national, and international levels 15C – Compare different points of view on geographic issues 19A – Evaluate the significance of major technological innovations that have been used to modify the environment 20A – Describe the impact of new technologies, new markets, and revised perceptions of resources 20B- Analyze the role of technology in agriculture and other primary economic activities and identify the environmental consequences of the changes that have taken place Materials Needed: Images of Space Photography http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/images/6878/Turkey.A2004096.0830.1km.jpg http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/images/5332/MiddleEast.A2003124.0750.1km.jpg Overview of Southeastern Anatolia Project area http://www.fas.usda.gov/remote/mideast_pecad/gap/introduction.htm Copies of Articles (if used) http://www.islamonline.net/english/Science/2003/01/article07.shtml http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2000/12/1201_turkey.html http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/971208/1997120807.html Group Assignment cards (depending on how groups are chosen) Procedure: Preparation – Assemble all materials needed. If students are doing their own research, you may want to use a computer lab. Prepare debate rubric (if using). Execution – Show students the space photographs from Visible Earth. Show the photograph that is Turkey first, http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/images/6878/Turkey.A2004096.0830.1km.jpg. Have students describe the geographic features they can see. Then show the second photograph of a larger area of SW Asia, http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/images/5332/MiddleEast.A2003124.0750.1km.jpg, point out the different nations visible, and have students describe that area. They should notice more arable land in Turkey; dry, desert in SW Asian nations that are landlocked; greener areas along the rivers; etc. Discuss the value of water as a natural resource in general and the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Introduce the Southeastern Anatolia Project. Show the image of the project area, http://www.fas.usda.gov/remote/mideast_pecad/gap/introduction.htm, and read over the brief description from the website. Tell students that since the project’s conception, there have been differing points of view about its existence. In groups, the students are going to come before an “International Tribunal” to decide the fate of the Southeastern Anatolia Project. Is it legal, should it be constructed/completed, etc. Groups can either be assigned or students may form their own groups. Equal size groups represent the following: Turkish government, Syrian government, Iraqi government, Israeli government, representatives for the Kurdish nation, an international team of environmental activists, an international team of archaeologists, and a coalition of Turkish farmers. You will also need students (or faculty with free time) to serve as the International Tribunal. If doing lesson in one day, print out the articles and distribute to groups. Have them use the articles to decide whether they are in favor of or against the construction of the dams. Each group should come up with arguments to support their position and reasons to refute the opposition. Each group will come before the tribunal, argue their case for no more than five minutes, and then the tribunal will issue a verdict after brief deliberation. While the groups are reading the articles, the tribunal (if students) will be researching international policy regarding water rights, so they can issue an informed decision after all points of view have been expressed. At the end of class, the tribunal will issue their verdict with explanations for it. If doing a two day lesson, groups research their own arguments for their position on day one. While the group are researching their positions, the tribunal (if students) will be researching international policy regarding water rights, so they can issue an informed decision after all points of view have been expressed and will present other cases of similar contention around the world. Day two will be more extensive petitions before the tribunal with time for rebuttal of opposition. Each group needs to construct arguments in their favor as well as possible positions for the other side to refute. Toward the end of class, the tribunal will issue their verdict and compare the Southeastern Anatolia Project to other cases in the world to support their decision. Assessment: Each student should create a T-chart for the reasons for and against the Southeastern Anatolia Project. Then have each student write a position paper (or paragraph) regarding the project based on all positions and supported by information presented to the class. Alternative/Additional - Use a Classroom Debate Rubric (one example at http://mh034.k12.sd.us/classroom_debate_rubric.htm) to grade presentations of positions. Enrichment: Students come up with their own plan to ease the tensions over water in this region. Students research the amount of water used by various nations in this region or around the world and compare them to the water availability created by this project. Compare this dam project with other ones around the world (like the Three Gorges and Aswan Dam projects). Students evaluate hydroelectric power and the benefits and risks associated with damming large rivers around the world.
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