"Land degradation is a root cause of migration and a trigger of conflicts", says Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. In the interview, she explains the links between environmental change and violent conflict in Africa. Concrete examples such as the "Great Green Wall" raise hope that conflicts over scarce resources can be successfully addressed and that degraded landscapes can be restored through collaborative efforts.
This report takes stock of key developments since the publishing of the independent report A New Climate For Peace commissioned by G7 members. It provides a concise risk horizon scan, and an overview and assessment of key policy developments in 2015 and 2016 that are of relevance for addressing climate-fragility risks and fostering the global resilience agenda.
[This article originally appeared on New Security Beat, the blog of The Wilson Center's Environment Change and Security Program]
The leading lights of the global community working on the risk to security posed by climate change will meet in The Hague on December 5-6 at the Planetary Security Conference. More than 300 participants will gather to build urgently needed cooperation on climate risks in a dozen working groups.
The GCSP’s new strategic security brief “Water Security, Conflict and Cooperation” sheds light on rising water stress, the conflict risks, and on potential ways to improve cooperation across borders and manage water sustainably.
The ECC Factbook is an online tool presenting over 120 conflicts with an environmental dimension. This month, our Factbook team reviewed the links between food price hikes and political fragility in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a particular emphasis on the events leading up to the Arab spring revolutions. The latest additions to the ECC Factbook include a general overview of the origins and consequences of recent global food price crises, a series of specific case studies in selected MENA countries, and a discussion of possible policy solutions.
How to deal with the impact of climate change on peace and stability? What are the key climate-fragility risks to development in Africa and how can integrated policy responses be designed and implemented? Two side events at COP22 discussed entry points for addressing climate-security risks on the ground.
Recently released by the World Bank, Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters finds that extreme natural disasters cost the global economy $520 billion in lost consumption each year – 60 percent higher than any previous estimate. Traditional disaster risk assessments have focused solely on aggregate losses, or how “disasters affect people wealthy enough to have wealth to lose.” But, as the report points out, a dollar in losses does not mean the same thing to the wealthy as it does to the poor. Instead, the report uses a new measurement that moves beyond asset losses to estimate a community’s socioeconomic resilience – or the ability to resist, absorb, accommodate, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely manner.
The world of 2035 will be facing global and regional insecurities that could be “more dangerous than the second half of the Cold War era,” according to a 2016 report from the Atlantic Council. Global Risks 2035: The Search for a New Normal, authored by Mathew J. Burrows.
Climate Change is a stimulus for social, political and economic conflicts around the world. The award-winning film "The Age of Consequences", tours around the world and will be screened this December and in 2017 in the Netherlands, Sweden and several US states. It is an illuminating call to action, highlighting the manifold security threats posed by climate change from a US military perspective.
“Water is the frontline of climate change. It’s what every report that you see identifies as the sort of first and foremost effect we see from a climate changing world,” said Sherri Goodman, a public policy fellow at the Wilson Center and formerly of CNA and the U.S. Department of Defense, on October 19. As the climate changes, availability and access to water is changing and growing increasingly uncertain in some regions.
Now that the at times turbulent US election has past, attention must return to cooperating on the global challenges that affect us all, like climate change which 23 high profile military leaders and experts from around the world have today labelled as a threat to peace and stability. In a joint Global Climate and Security Consensus Statement issued by the Climate Security Working Group, the signatories have called for world leaders to address climate risk in their national, regional and international security planning.
With much of the Middle East in turmoil, authorities devote their resources to fighting ISIS, the refugee crisis and the most pressing economic and social concerns. Peter Schwartzstein, a Cairo-based journalist, reports on the struggle of environmental agencies to be heard in times of conflict. The secondary status of the environment is regrettable, as landscape degradation and pollutant floods in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan and other countries is contributing to a broader picture of instability.