Since 2009, the parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon bordering Lake Chad—which are home to more than 17.4 million people—have been locked into multiple and overlapping crises. Climate change is having profound adverse impacts on the conflict, intensifying existing dynamics and creating new risks. Communities in this region are thus vulnerable to both the impacts of climate change and the ongoing conflict. If the region is to break free of the conflict trap, we must tackle the impacts of climate change as part of peacebuilding efforts. Communities are vulnerable to both the rising impacts of climate change and the ongoing conflict. This creates its own feedback loop: violence undercuts communities’ capacity to adapt to climate change, but climate change undermines efforts to escape the conflict trap. While the situation varies significantly between and within countries, we identify four key climate-conflict risks.
1. Climate and conflict dynamics undermine livelihoods
2. Increased competition for natural resources
3. Recruitment into armed opposition groups
4. Heavy-handed military response
I’ve been working with adelphi on uncovering the links between changing climate and security in the Lake Chad region since October 2017. We launched the report in mid May and it’s great to be able to share it now.
Have less than a minute but want to know more? Read this comic strip to find out Mohamed’s story.
Have just over 3 minutes? Watch this video.
Have a bit longer? Read this story in The Economist which talks about the report as well as climate and conflict more generally.
If that’s whetted your appetite, you can find the full report and its executive summary here.