Climate Change Addressed as Factor of Instability and Conflict
UN Photo/Manuel Elias
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The report, titled 'Insurgency, Terrorism and Organised Crime in a Warming Climate: Analysing the Links Between Climate Change and Non-State Armed Groups,' notes that climate change is a threat multiplier as it "interacts and converges" with other existing risks and pressures in a given context and "can increase the likelihood of fragility or violent conflict".

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution on the Lake Chad Basin, which recognizes "the adverse effects of climate change and ecological changes among other factors on the stability of the region, including through water scarcity, drought, desertification, land degradation, and food insecurity".

20 April 2017: A report by the German Federal Foreign Office and adelphi, as well as a resolution of the UN Security Council on the Lake Chad Basin Region, have put the linkages between climate change impacts and conflict and fragility in the spotlight.

According to the report by the German Federal Foreign Office and adelphi, the links between climate change, conflict and fragility “are not simple and linear.” The report, titled ‘Insurgency, Terrorism and Organised Crime in a Warming Climate: Analysing the Links Between Climate Change and Non-State Armed Groups,’ notes that the increasing impacts of climate change “do not automatically lead to more fragility and conflict.” Rather, the authors focus on climate change as a threat multiplier, noting that it “interacts and converges” with other existing risks and pressures in a given context and “can increase the likelihood of fragility or violent conflict.”

The report features four case studies that explore the specific role non-State armed groups play in the complex dynamics of climate change and fragility. The cases are on Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region, ISIS in Syria, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and urban violence and organized crime in Guatemala. [Climate for Peace Press Release] [Report Webpage]

The UN Security Council resolution welcomes the programmes that aim to help build and sustain peace “by addressing the root causes of the crisis,” including the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Action Plan of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

Also recognizing the linkage between instability and climate change, the UN Security Council has unanimously adopted its first resolution (2349 (2017)) addressing Boko Haram’s presence in the Lake Chad Basin, expressing concern about the protection needs of civilians affected by terrorism. In the resolution, the Security Council recognizes “the adverse effects of climate change and ecological changes among other factors on the stability of the region, including through water scarcity, drought, desertification, land degradation, and food insecurity.” It also recognizes “the complex challenges faced by the region” and welcomes the programmes that aim to help build and sustain peace “by addressing the root causes of the crisis,” including the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Action Plan of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. [UN Press Release and UN Security Council Resolution]

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