In recent years, conflict between herders and farmers for access to increasingly scarce natural resources in Africa’s Sudano-Sahel has escalated. While the problems fueling these tensions are both hyper-local and transnational in nature, one important piece of the puzzle has been overlooked. The real “elephant in the room” is who owns the livestock.
Both those who argue for and those who refute climate-conflict links draw on Darfur to support their case. New analysis of political bias behind the environmental narratives and their critiques adds much-needed nuance to our understanding of when drought is – and is not – relevant to the conflict.
Cape Town is dealing with one of the biggest climate change-linked water crises to face a modern city. This should serve as our wake-up call: we must transition to a new, shared way of organising around increasingly stretched resources, writes Leonie Joubert.
Following last month’s United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, it is worth raising attention to the key challenges and opportunities that the urbanisation process imposes on peaceful development. In fragile contexts, such as urban areas which are already highly exposed to multiple risks (including climate change, disasters, chronic poverty, insecurity and population displacement), the converging effects of climate change and growing youth populations can severely affect security risks.
While natural resource development can generate economic success, it can also increase the likelihood of conflict, particularly in Africa. Ongoing violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta is a good example of the so-called “resource curse” in action. In response, African governments continue to grapple with how best to use their resource endowments to foster both economic opportunity and peace. At a time of much soul-searching for the United Nations, there is a unique opportunity to put responsible and effective resource development at the heart of African peacebuilding. But how might local communities take greater ownership of these processes?
African civil society organisations championing for climate justice have criticised the Intended Nationally Determined Commitments (INDC’s) presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, calling them “weak, inadequate and not ambitious enough.”
China’s economic slowdown is proving especially painful for countries that depend on Chinese investment. The Chinese are set to invest less in foreign countries this year, as their government takes steps to reduce the flow of its currency into overseas markets. Resource-rich countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, like Zambia, are suffering as a result.
The women sat quietly in a village church in northwest Zambia, the sun slanting down on their colourful Sunday outfits as they told how life had changed since their chief sold a tract of land to a foreign firm for a new copper mine, displacing hundreds of families.
More than 80 percent of the estimated 42 million people living in Central Africa’s Lake Victoria Basin depend on fishing or farming for survival. Given this overwhelming reliance on natural resources, the lake’s deteriorating condition – driven by climate change, agriculture, pollution, deforestation, overfishing, and industrialization – has far-reaching implications.
Illicit trafficking of diamonds from Central African Republic into neighboring Cameroon is helping finance the continuation of a nearly three-year conflict, an expert panel that monitors U.N. sanctions said in a confidential report.
The inauguration of Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, sets the stage for an unprecedented alliance of public- and private-sector actors to perform something close to a miracle: reverse the ravages of the so-called oil curse.