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Climate change and conflict: findings and lessons learned from five case studies in seven countries

Source(s):  United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

This report distills the main findings of five case studies, with the goal of emphasizing key institutions and the interactions of non-climate and climate factors in each country or city. The case studies focused on four basic research questions: 1. Does (or could) climate change/variability contribute to the conditions for organized, political violence? 2. Does climate change/variability contribute to circumstances with high-conflict potential linked to the access and use of natural (or economic) resources by specific livelihood groups, identity groups, or urban dwellers? If so, how and why? 3. What is the relationship of either of these with resilience? 4. What are possible programmatic options or approaches to enable USAID (or others) to invest more effectively in programs or initiatives to build resilience and prevent or mitigate conflict?

The full-length reports provide much more country-specific context and data, climate information, full citations, persons and organizations consulted, and a complete set of recommendations. Case studies 1-3 were conducted in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Peru to: (i) help fill the gap in knowledge regarding how climate-related vulnerabilities interact with the dynamics of fragility, instability, and conflict in specific selected locations around the world; and (ii) identify target areas and opportunities for USAID to improve the provision and coordination of programmatic interventions that can address climate change and conflict vulnerabilities in those countries. Case study 4 analyzes the potential linkages between climate impacts and conflict in two countries in the heart of the Sahel: Niger and Burkina Faso. And case study 5 addresses the relative lack of research on climate-conflict linkages in large urban coastal areas on two major West African cities located within this zone: Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana.

All of the case studies present the political, economic, and demographic setting relevant to stability and instability for each country or city and examine available information on recent and projected climate change, sensitivities, and adaptation responses. This is accompanied in each case by a discussion of key institutional weaknesses. Each study concludes by identifying key climate adaptation needs and promising current activities, along with options for action that can help build resilience and reduce conflict.



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  • Climate change and conflict: findings and lessons learned from five case studies in seven countries
  • Publication date 2014
  • Author(s) Stark, Jeffrey
  • Number of pages 98 p.

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