African heads of state to address the impact of the climate crisis on peace and security

Source(s)
Our burning planet - Daily Maverick

By Cedric de Coning and Florian Krampe

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On Tuesday, 9 March, the African Union Peace and Security Council will debate how the climate crisis is affecting peace and security and what to do about it. While climate change increasingly undermines human security and influences the dynamics of violent conflict on the continent, there are no hard peace and security solutions to the security impacts of climate change. The African Union and African societies can, however, improve how they prevent and manage climate-related security risks by investing in preparedness, analysis and early warning.

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Across the Sahel, South Sudan and Somalia climate change and existing conflicts also affect the risk of clashes between herding and farming communities over access to land, water and pastures. The reason is that climate change affects pastoralist travel routes bringing them in closer proximity to farming communities, causing tensions over land, grazing, water and communal conflicts.

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African institutions must improve their preparedness by investing in analysis and early warning capacities. Enhancing African capacities to take early action to pre-empt, prevent and respond to emerging climate-related insecurity will increase societies’ resilience to already unavoidable climate impacts.

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Lastly, the African Union and others responsible for peace and security should develop a set of tools and instruments that can be deployed as soon as potential conflict is anticipated. These can include the strengthening of traditional conflict resolution and justice capacities as well as investment in local capacities for peace, leveraging the resilience of youth, women and traditional capacities.

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