Frexus Project // Natural resources related conflicts: Regional River Basin Organizations working towards sustainable solutions
From June 2021 to February 2023, the Frexus project has been facilitating a series of three technical workshop between the two Regional Bassin Organisations (RBO) to exchange on experiences and reflect on the roles these basin organisations play in the Sahelian region.
The FREXUS project "Improving security and resilience to climate change in fragile contexts through the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus", has been working since 2019 in three pilot areas located in Niger, Mali and Chad in close collaboration with the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) to develop and implement a new approach for preventing natural resource related conflicts in a climate change context. This approach collects and integrates information from both local to regional level to capture the perspective of different intervention levels.
The Frexus approach
From June 2021 to February 2023, the Frexus project has been facilitating a series of three technical workshop between the two Regional Bassin Organisations (RBO) to exchange on experiences and reflect on the particular role that these basin organisations in the Sahelian region can play in promoting peaceful management of natural resources and preventing conflicts related to these natural resources in a context of climate change and increasing tensions between communities.
The first workshop was held in N’Djamena, Chad in June 2022 and was jointly opened by the two Executive Secretaries of the LCBC and NBA proving the interest that these organisations mark to the issue of peaceful management of natural resources in a context of climate change. The final workshop has taken place in Niamey, Niger from the 22nd to 23rd of February 2023 where technical experts from the two RBOs thoroughly discussed the typology of natural resources related conflicts and solutions currently deployed politically and technically by the LCBC and NBA in preventing conflicts and enabling peaceful and climate sensitive natural resource management.
A landscape of conflicts and central challenges in the two basins
During the technical workshop sessions, experts from the LCBC and NBA carried out a thorough review which helped identify seven prominent types of major conflict which are recurring and common to both RBOs. These conflicts are associated with central challenges faced within the two basins, as identified during the workshops, including but not limited to natural resources governance, climate variability and change impacts and displacement.
The landscape of measures deployed by RBOs for preventing conflicts
A summary of effective measures deployed by RBOs, ranging from political and governance frameworks to regional policies and technical tools highlight the major experiences of the RBOs in addressing natural resources related conflicts. Approaches and tools developed by the Frexus project could represent a good starting point for RBOs in their early warning and action measures.
Development of a policy paper on the RBO’s contribution to the peaceful management of natural resources in the context of climate change
The RBOs implement technical, administrative and political tools for the prevention and management of several conflicts with transboundary characteristics at the local level of communities sharing natural resources. A policy paper is currently being developed summarising challenges and potential solutions to provide guidance and recommendations for supporting basin organisations in their leading role of promoting the peaceful management of natural resources and conflict prevention in a climatic and security context that is increasingly difficult for the communities living in the areas of these two basins.
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