Searched the resource database for : All Results AND Topic=Climate Change and Armed Conflict
Haven't found what you are looking for? To further refine your search: Click on the 'advanced search' menu to filter by title, abstract, source, and/or publication date; to include or exclude multiple resource categories, regions or topics.
Abstract: This paper explores the security implications of climate change with a special focus
on the Asia-Pacific region. The core message is that climate change’s adverse
impacts could act a “threat multiplier” and exacerbate existing political, economic
and social tensions. In fragile regions, this could result in destabilization and conflict
and pose a threat to national and international security. If countries fail to address
this threat, climate change may trigger conflict within nations and between them.
This conflict could come about as a result of a natural disaster, resource scarcity,
mass migration and others. However, climate change also has the potential to unite
the international community, as long as states recognize climate change as a threat
and cooperate to achieve a policy that is both coordinated and inclusive.
Abstract: This report examines the likely impacts of a changing climate on the US government’s
civilian and military humanitarian response systems. We analyze both humanitarian
and security implications of climate change as well as how the US government
responds to overseas climate-related emergencies. We want to understand the
changes that can be made now to better prepare these systems for the long-term
effects of climate change.
At the same time that fiscal pressures are putting
more strain on budgets, the US is likely to face
substantially increasing demands on its humanitarian
response systems as a result of climate change.
These factors will have major implications for global
stability as well as for the capacity of humanitarian
In light of these dynamics, the US government
should adopt an “ounce of prevention” approach
hand in hand with reforms that increase the efficiency
and effectiveness of disaster response mechanisms.
Such a strategy would reduce long-term costs of
humanitarian response, increase the impact of
emergency relief programs, and lay a stronger
foundation for stability in developing countries.
Abstract: The increasing relevance of climate change has called
for both mitigation and adaptation strategies. Mitigation,
being the focus of recent international debates, has left
adaptation with less attention. In response to this gap in
knowledge as well as policy, the Asia Security Initiative (ASI)
project on climate change and environmental security,
led by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies and funded by
the MacArthur Foundation, focuses on the importance
of adaptation and building social resilience for the many
communities and countries in the Asia-Pacific affected by
As a start to this project, this conference aimed to come
to a better understanding of the specific climate change
implications for Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia so that
specific ‘climate security’ measures can be formulated.
Bringing together reputable security and political analysts,
economists and environmentalists, it examined climate
change from a human security perspective to explore social
resilience, at the national and regional levels
Abstract: Climate change, a growing number of voices in media and policy circles warn, is raising the risks of violent conflict in the twenty-first century. Dire futures are predicted for some of the world’s poorest, least prepared countries and their most vulnerable citizens. This report, sponsored by the Centers of Innovation at the U.S. Institute of Peace, evaluates these claims for conflict-prone Nigeria. Based on a comprehensive literature survey, interviews with senior government officials, academics, and private sector figures, and the author’s work as a conflict analyst in Nigeria, the report calls for a more nuanced approach to mapping the links between climate change and conflict. It reviews evidence of such links in Nigeria and outlines a process for achieving conflict-sensitive adaptation to the effects of climate change.
1. Deaths from conflict have been declining on a continuous trend, reducing by 90% since the 1950s. This trend should continue given economic growth, globalisation, democratisation, and better international conflict management cooperation. However, many fragile states in danger of conflict have institutional deficits with a mismatch between state capacity and the scale of complex challenges faced. These often include structural unemployment.
2. Democracy is not a Western export and is widely valued. All democracies are finding that power is being diffused to an ever greater multiplicity of actors and current democratic systems do not make it easy to agree and implement long term policies.
3. Power transitions create perilous moments in history. Future risks include: potential great power rivalry; proliferation of weapons and components; low-cost wars; failure of international governance to adapt to new powers; ageing populations and youth bulges; and resource competition/market volatility.
4. Conflict is likely to move into new frontiers, including cyber, space and robotics, particularly as the cost of traditional war makes other options more attractive. Links between terrorist and criminal networks are also becoming more common.
Abstract: After years of being at the margins of the development debate, land policy
and resource rights are receiving increased attention. Whereas previously
land tenure was seen primarily as a call for social justice, today land tenure
and pro-poor land governance are seen as being also at the nexus of current
economic, political and social challenges including conflicts over access to
natural resources and progress in implementing peace accords.
This paper examines the contribution that secure resource tenure can
make to peacebuilding and long-term security. It also highlights the preventative
role that tenure rights can play in staving off the escalation of conflict
into violence. In many developing country contexts, keeping land relations
peaceful can reduce the scope to which historical injustices, accumulated
grievances or situations of acute hardship turn into violent conflict, including
Abstract: As the Obama administration takes over, the 13th issue of the Environmental Change and Security Program Report details the non-traditional security threats-and opportunities-it faces. "Environmental security is making a comeback," says ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko, "notably in the United States, where signs indicate that the next administration will tackle environment, population, health, and development challenges that impact security." In a special feature entitled "New Directions in Demographic Security," seven demographic experts analyze the links connecting population and environmental dynamics to conflict. The report also features articles on the population-climate change nexus and the UN Environment Programme's peacebuilding work in conflict zones.
Abstract: For a decade we have been living through a period of great turbulence in the commodity markets. Rising and sometimes highly volatile prices, strong geological and market concentration, and state intervention in the commodity markets all stoke fears of future supply bottlenecks and an expectation of ensuing international tension and violent confrontation. The list of recent incidents is long: the gas dispute between Russia, Ukraine and the EU; food revolts in Haiti, Tunisia and Algeria; China's trade conflict with the United States and the EU over export restrictions imposed on many metals; and the confrontation between China and Japan over China's export ban on rare earths to name just a few.
Without doubt, increasing competition for natural resources poses considerable conflict potential. It can further destabilise already fragile countries and regions or inject tension into otherwise cooperative inter-state relations, so conflict risks are found at different levels: within the producing and consuming countries and in relations between them. But the phenomenon of competition leading directly to conflict is not observed in every case. Sometimes new patterns of cooperation emerge.
The central questions of the study ‘Resource Scarcity – A Global Security Threat?' are therefore: Under what circumstances does resource scarcity lead to conflicts? And how can latent and acute conflicts over scarce resources be contained and regulated?
Abstract: Climate change is said to lead to conflict, as available resources dwindle and the competition for resources increases. From this perspective, the report “Climate to Conflict? Lessons from Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya” attempts to explain the relationship between environmental/climatic factors and the conflict dynamics in the Horn of Africa. Through its analysis and conclusion, it has shown that deterioration in the climate and environment alone may not lead to conflict, as local populations have learned to adapt to their environments. It is when it becomes connected with other social, political and economic factors that exacerbate scarcity that conflicts become more likely.
Abstract: Lake Chad is shrinking. Once Africa’s third-largest
inland water body, it could shrink severely in the coming two decades due to overuse,
mismanagement and climate change. Nigerian fishermen have followed the receding
lake into Chad and Cameroon, coming into conflict with local populations in the
lands around the lake, where unresolved disputes have led to violence. There has also
been a movement of some people in search of employment to Maiduguri, the capital
of Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno State. The fates of many Africans are
inextricably linked to the state of the environment, the availability of natural resources
and the sustainable management of those resources. Factors such as population
growth, human movements, current and progressive land scarcity, rising levels of
global consumption, climate change and political and social instability all directly and
indirectly impact on the natural environment and, thereby, on livelihoods. In turn,
the allocation and management of increasingly scarce resources often contribute to
conflict in Africa. The competition for and control over resources – in particular,
minerals – can also drive conflict.
This report emanates from an exploratory study conducted in 2009 by the African
Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in collaboration
with the Madariaga College of Europe Foundation. With a focus on Burundi, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Sudan, the study solicited views
and perspectives on the role that natural resources and the environment can play in
complex conflict situations.
Abstract: • Climate change is now a top agenda item for the global
• In Africa, climate effects will be severe and capacity for
mitigation and adaptation is low, which means that if
climate change leads to conflict, Africa will likely be the
first to suffer.
• Yet, understanding and responding to the threat of
climate-driven instability in Africa requires a more nuanced
definition of conflict: one that recognizes episodic unrest,
riots, and demonstrations as well as interstate or civil war.
• Rainfall has a surprising influence on the prevalence of
social conflict: the new Social Conflict in Africa Database
reveals that in recent decades, conflict events have been
more common in extremely wet and dry years than in years
of normal rainfall.
• Furthermore, violent social conflict has been more common
in extremely wet years than in extremely dry years.
• Climate forecasts indicate that future rainfall patterns in
Africa will become more variable, with more extreme wet
and dry years, raising the specter of an increase in social
Abstract: This briefing note is the third in a series of three CCIC background papers for the January 2009
Reclaiming the Commons Policy Roundtable. This paper provides of brief overview of links between environmental
injustice and violent conflict and examines how climate change may affect conflict-prone fragile
states. It calls for an integration of conflict-sensitive and peace-building approaches into climate
change adaptation strategies. The quest for environmental justice is an integral part of social justice, human rights and
women’s rights, and the promotion of peace. Environmental injustices such as unfair access to
land and water can contribute to poverty, marginalization, and violent conflict. Analysts in the
peace and conflict field tend to focus on three rationales linking the environment and violent
conflict: the distribution of natural resources; competition over natural resources; and
environmental degradation. Climate change and its adverse consequences such as drought,
desertification and flooding add a new dimension to links between violent conflict and the
Abstract: Currently Latin America and the Caribbean is a region that finds itself somewhat out of the global spotlight. The region is not at the heart of the financial crisis but instead is, on the whole, a victim of the collapse of the global economy. At the end of the first decade of the ‘global war on terror’, the region has played a marginal role in the conflict and its flashpoints in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Even in the debates and developments in what has been termed the ‘regionalisation’ of global politics, Europe and Southeast Asia have absorbed the focus with discussion of Latin America and the Caribbean acting more as an afterthought than a key point of analysis. Yet this is unlikely to remain the case for long. In a region where poverty, militarism and environmental limits are coalescing, Latin America and the Caribbean is becoming a testing ground for responding to security challenges that are increasingly global in nature.
To address these issues, security experts, academics, journalists and civil society leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean were brought together by ORG and the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (Noref) in January 2010. The meeting explored the implications of a ‘sustainable security’ framework for the region. The meeting identified the regional drivers of insecurity as: state practices and insecurity; militarisation; urban-rural divides and socio-economic divisions; and environmental and energy insecurity. The blockages to achieving change in the region were identified as: conceptions of security, historical legacies and economic models, and regional institutions and identity. The report includes an integrated analysis of these issues, together with recommendations for policy-makers.
Abstract: This paper aims to appraise and map the security challenges that have faced West African countries since independence with a special focus on the period after 1990. It also assesses the efforts made by various national, regional, continental and extra-African actors and makes suggestions on how the shortcomings in these efforts could be improved. An effort is made to show the evolution of at least some of the challenges over the years, in the hope that this could contribute to a better formulation of policy responses.
The study is based on extensive review of existing literature, complemented by field research in the region undertaken in July and August 2010, in addition to general familiarity with the region from many previous research visits on related subjects.
Without neglecting other issues that could be considered as security threats, and without attempting any hierarchical ordering of these threats, the paper focuses on the following six major issues: i) armed conflict, ii) military coups and unconstitutional changes of government; iii) mismanagement of electoral processes; iv) transnational criminality, particularly drug trafficking, terrorism and maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; v) poverty and illiteracy; vi) climate change and environmental degradation.
Abstract: This paper provides a brief assessment of how natural resource scarcity and global climate change may change the risk of violent conflict in the future. The resource scarcity element of the paper is primarily focused on resources required to meet basic needs such as food, land and water, as opposed to high-value commodities associated with the ‘resource curse’, such as diamonds, coltan or hardwood (although oil is touched on in the paper, primarily because of the linkages between oil and other scarcity issues). The paper begins with an overview of projected trends in resource scarcity and climate change. It emphasises that problems of resource availability may be as much the result of poor governance as physical constraints, and that the risk posed by climate change or resource scarcity depends as much on the vulnerability of populations, ecosystems, economies and institutions as on the magnitude of climate or scarcity impacts themselves. Resource availability must be seen not as a stand-alone issue, but rather in the context of the overall political economy landscape. The paper then discusses ways in which these trends may affect conflict risk, including already-established links and ways in which such links may evolve in the future, including under abrupt change scenarios. The paper concludes with some brief remarks on possible avenues of exploration for conflict prevention and building resilience in the light of scarcity and climate change.
seminar explored the evolving
relationship between the United
Nations and African institutions,
including the African Union and
subregional organizations, in developing
a new peace and security
architecture, and highlighted
reasons for hope and optimism
despite entrenched problems in
certain areas of the continent.
This meeting note summarizes the
main themes and observations of
these discussions, which were held
under the Chatham House Rule, and
provides further background on
recent institutional developments. Participants in the seminar sought to identify regional and global
approaches to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts and crises in Africa.
Speakers highlighted new approaches to Africa’s security in order to improve
peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations, to strengthen African diplomacy,
to promote good governance and democracy, and to deal with organized crime
and climate change, among other pressing problems facing Africa.
Panelists also shared with participants a wide range of perspectives on the
responsibility to protect in an African context. Through discussion, participants
and speakers discussed how African institutions and the United Nations
can work together more effectively to implement strategies in response to
contemporary threats to Africa’s security.
Abstract: Natural resources have played a major role in Africa’s public arena, defining power politics, resource distribution and gerrymandering strategies in much of the public administration domain. They have also fuelled armed conflicts in Africa, which has proven to be a hurdle in effective statecraft, while being a hindrance to peace processes. From another perspective, climate change can be viewed as an additional burden for the continent on top of its many other problems. It expands the purviews of environmental security, threatens the very basis of national security and escalates social conflicts. However, it is important to note that the phenomenon of natural resources conflict is quite intricate and a mono-causal link between natural resources conflicts and climate change would not provide the basis for either a thorough conflict analysis or a proper understanding of natural resources conflict management. This paper seeks to provide a link between natural resources and social conflicts, situate the debate within the nexus between natural resources management and conflict management, and argue for the use of a multi-actor and multi-level approaching dealing with natural resources conflicts in the context of conflict management and peace building.
Abstract: Vocal actors within policy and practice contend that environmental
variability and shocks, such as drought and prolonged heat waves,
drive civil wars in Africa. Recently, a widely publicized scientific
article appears to substantiate this claim. This paper investigates the
empirical foundation for the claimed relationship in detail. Using
a host of different model specifications and alternative measures
of drought, heat, and civil war, the paper concludes that climate
variability is a poor predictor of armed conflict. Instead, African civil
wars can be explained by generic structural and contextual conditions:
prevalent ethno-political exclusion, poor national economy,
and the collapse of the Cold War system.
Abstract: This report focuses on the nexus between security and environmental concerns in Pakistan that
have the potential to affect American security and foreign policy interests. Environmental
concerns include, but are not limited to, water and food scarcity, natural disasters, and the effects
of climate change. Environmental stresses, when combined with the other socio-economic and
political stresses on Pakistan, have the potential to further weaken an already weak Pakistani
state. The report examines the potentially destabilizing effect that, when combined with Pakistan’s
demographic trends and limited economic development, water scarcity, limited arable land, and
food security may have on an already radicalized internal and destabilized international politicalsecurity
environment. The report considers the especially important hypothesis that the
combination of these factors could contribute to Pakistan’s decline as a fully functioning state,
creating new, or expanding existing, largely ungoverned areas. Environmental factors could also expand the ranks of the dispossessed in Pakistan, which could
lead to greater recruitment for radical Islamist groups operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan. The potential for environmental factors to stoke conflict between the nuclear armed states of India
and Pakistan is also a concern. Preliminary findings by experts seem to indicate that existing environmental problems in Pakistan
are sufficiently significant to warrant a close watch, especially when combined with Pakistan’s
limited resilience due to mounting demographic stresses, internal political instability, security
challenges, and limited economic resources.
Abstract: This monograph contains papers that were presented at the International Conference on Climate Change and Natural Resources Conflicts in Africa, 14–15 May 2009, Entebbe, Uganda, organised by the Environment Security Programme (ESP) of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Nairobi Office.
The climate change phenomenon is a global concern, which typically threatens the sustainability of the livelihoods of the majority of the population living in the developing countries. Africa, particularly the sub-Saharan region, is likely to be negatively impacted by climate variability and change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Africa’s vulnerability arises from a combination of many factors, including extreme poverty, a high rate of population increase, frequent natural disasters such as droughts and floods, and agricultural systems (both crop and livestock production) that depend heavily on rainfall. Extreme natural occurrences such as floods and droughts are becoming increasingly frequent and severe. Africa’s high vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate variability and change is also attributed to its low adaptive capacity.
Climate variability and change have further exacerbated the scarcity of natural resources on the African continent, leading to conflicts with regard to access to, and ownership and use of these resources. The scarcity of natural resources is known to trigger competition for the meagre resources available among both individuals and communities, and even institutions, thus affecting human security on the continent.
Abstract: This paper discusses the diverging perceptions
and responses of Middle Eastern Arab states to the
issue of climate change. It shows how these states’
policies at the regional and international level have
been shaped, even conditioned, by motivations of
economic security of the oil revenue-dependent
states in the region. It also points out the problems
of this kind of an approach and gives suggestions and
justifications for a more balanced policy approach to
climate change. It is argued that the Gulf oil exporting
monarchies need to take a more constructive and
balanced approach to international climate change
mitigation, as this is the precondition for achieving
functional regional cooperation in this area. In the
future, failing to cooperate regionally will exacerbate
climate change-induced problems and instability in
the entire region. Climate change is by its nature a transboundary
problem. The Middle East is considered to be one
of the most vulnerable regions in the world to its
negative impacts. This is even more significant given
that the Middle East is also one of the most volatile
regions in the world in terms of inter- and intrastate
conflict and instability.
Abstract: Climate change is increasingly been called a ‘security’ problem, and there has been speculation that
climate change may increase the risk of violent conflict. This paper integrates three disparate but wellfounded
bodies of research e on the vulnerability of local places and social groups to climate change,
on livelihoods and violent conflict, and the role of the state in development and peacemaking, to offer
new insights into the relationships between climate change, human security, and violent conflict. It
explains that climate change increasingly undermines human security in the present day, and will increasingly
do so in the future, by reducing access to, and the quality of, natural resources that are important to
sustain livelihoods. Climate change is also likely to undermine the capacity of states to provide the opportunities
and services that help people to sustain their livelihoods. We argue that in certain circumstances
these direct and indirect impacts of climate change on human security may in turn increase the risk of
violent conflict. The paper then outlines the broad contours of a research programme to guide
empirical investigations into the risks climate change poses to human security and peace.
Abstract: If economics is the original dismal science, then climate
change could be its understudy.
Hardly a day goes by without a new scientific
report revealing more worrying news about the
rapid progress of climate change. Reports on climate
change typically make for grim bedtime
reading – full of worrying statistics and doomsday
scenarios. Sometimes it feels like the only question
left is whether the rising sea levels, tornadoes
or forest fires will get you first.
As the meteorological picture comes into focus,
campaigners have begun to argue that climate
change holds potentially serious implications for
international security. The basic argument is that
climate change – by redrawing the maps of water
availability, food security, disease prevalence and
coastal boundaries – will reduce the available food
and water, increase migration, raise tensions and
trigger new conflicts.
Abstract: We face nation states, terrorist networks, organized criminal groups, individuals, and other
cyber actors with varying combinations of access, technical sophistication and intent. Many
have the capabilities to target elements of the US information infrastructure for intelligence
collection, intellectual property theft, or disruption. Terrorist groups and their sympathizers have
expressed interest in using cyber means to target the United States and its citizens. Criminal
elements continue to show growing sophistication in their technical capability and targeting.
Today, cyber criminals operate a pervasive, mature on-line service economy in illicit cyber
capabilities and services, which are available to anyone willing to pay. Globally, widespread
cyber-facilitated bank and credit card fraud has serious implications for economic and financial systems and the national security, intelligence, and law enforcement communities charged with