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.
Facing poverty, inequality and the need for foreign currency, governments in Latin America have employed different strategies to promote development and economic growth, as multiple stakeholders seek to turn the reserves of natural resources into sources of wealth.
The Western Ghats are one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world and form an important watershed. In five Indian states, the mountain range is at the heart of environmental conflicts: Fragmentation and deterioration of forests, biodiversity loss, pollution, soil erosion and landslides, soil infertility and agrarian stress, depleting groundwater resources, climate change and introduction of alien species, caused by developmental and mining projects, have raised the alarm in recent years.
Even though nearly a decade has passed since the Cauvery (Kaveri) Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) gave a final verdict on the sharing of the waters of the River Cauvery, the two main conflicting parties – the Karnataka and the Tamil Nadu – are still in dispute. The recent verdict by the Supreme Court (India’s apex court), directing Karnataka to release more water than the amount it informed the court it could, generated a fresh bout of protest, arson and violence in Karnataka. This occurred mainly in Bengaluru (erstwhile Bangalore), Mysore and Mandya. The dispute between the two states, which has lasted more than 150 years, refuses to cease.
Fresh water is an indispensable resource for human life and ecosystem health. A considerable amount of fresh water resources accessible for human use are shared between two or more countries. Around the world, there are 286 transboundary river basins, and 148 countries include territory within one or more of these basins. Contrary to expectations, internationally shared water resources have long acted as a source of cooperation rather than conflict between riparian states.
A paper published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tests the hypothesis that climate related natural disasters may be part of the cause of conflict in countries with high ethnic fractionalization.
Earlier this month, armed clashes between competing factions of South Sudan’s government broke out in the capital Juba, a day after the nation’s fifth anniversary of its independence. The conflict dates back to political events and factional fighting that first emerged in 2013.
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?
Wrapped in a purple boubou (robe), Salou Moussa Maïga, 60, sits with his hands clasped between his knees and explains how climate change has fuelled violent conflict in Ansongo, Mali. As the president of a farming cooperative, he knows the cost of drought all too well. ‘The rain period has decreased considerably from years ago … we don’t have grass anymore,’ he told ISS Today. ‘Everything is naked.’
The ECC Factbook is an online tool that informs both policymakers and the general public about over 100 current conflicts with an environmental dimension. Read more about new cases, new exciting features and a new video.
As climate variability increases over the next decades, we have to dramatically rethink how we govern extractive industry, water resources, and environmental permitting, or else face increased conflict in many resource rich countries, argues Joshua Fisher.
Water, food, waste, emissions – from whatever measure you can think of, the 18-odd million people who live in New Delhi have large footprints, with most of its needs supplied by neighbouring areas. The danger of this near-total dependence on the hinterland is now being underlined as members of the Jat community in the adjacent state of Haryana stage a series of violent protests to support their demand for job reservations.
In his speech on climate change and national security on November 10, Secretary of State John Kerry said climate change is already a “threat multiplier,” and that worse is to be expected if climate change continues unchecked. But the relationship between the environment and violent conflict is complex and often indirect.
Migrants and Syrian refugees have become the new 'stranded polar bear' of climate change imagery. But most such impacts will seldom be so dramatic or camera-ready.
Paris 2015: as climate advocate, this meant and means for me the upcoming World Climate Conference in December. And this hasn’t changed, even as a result of the horrific terror attacks last Friday in Paris. On the contrary, the outcomes of the approaching conference can make a major contribution to stomping out the breeding grounds for these kinds of attacks.