Thematic Review on Climate Security and Peacebuilding 2023

Source(s): United Nations University

The 2023 Thematic Review on Climate Security and Peacebuilding, commissioned by the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) in partnership with FAO, UNICEF, Climate Security Mechanism and the UK, and led by the UN University’s Centre for Policy Research, distils trends and lessons from climate-security and environmental peacebuilding programming supported by the Peacebuilding Fund, and suggests guidance for future investments in climate-security efforts in fragile and conflict affected contexts. Some of the key findings and recommendations include:

  • Cross-border and regional approaches: Due to transnational nature of climate-security threats,  cross-border and regional approaches are key, and PBF has been a leading actor in supporting such interventions. Cross-border climate-security programming should have a greater focus on building political engagement around the issue.
  • Risk-tolerant approach: Of the 10 countries that received the most PBF climate-security and environmental peacebuilding funding between 2017-2021, 9 were among the most vulnerable to climate change (ND GAIN Index), and 6 countries were ranked among the most fragile states (Fragile States Index). PBF is willing to invest in areas or situations that other donors might first deem too risky. Effective PBF investments can offer ‘proof of concept’ that other climate funds and donors can consider scaling up.
  • Co-benefits of climate, peace and security: Investments in climate-security and environmental peacebuilding approaches, including improvements to agriculture and natural resource infrastructure, get to the heart of what many communities view as both their most pressing human security concerns, and the factors that contribute to persistent conflict and competition. Greater investment in climate security and environmental peacebuilding, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, should be encouraged.
  • Gender-climate-security nexus: Many projects utilize natural resource management or localized climate adaptation as an entry point for greater inclusion of women and youth in local governance and decision-making processes. Greater support to learning in this field and pushing projects to interrogate the synergies between climate and environmental related components on one hand, and gender equality and women’s empowerment goals on the other, is still necessary.
  • Reinforcing project design, learning, and innovation: While it is important to continue to reinforce existing guidance on project design, monitoring, and evaluation, it is critical to promote flexible project implementation and encourage check-ins or referrals back to the Theory of Change throughout the project cycle to  strengthen learning and reflection on the relatively new field of climate-security programming.


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