Review // The 9th Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development
This year’s Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development – titled: “From a Human Security Crisis Towards an Environment of Peace” – took place between 23rd-25th May 2022. The Frexus project was represented through a virtual session, where Mr Boko Boubacar, the project’s Water and Climate Expert in Niger, discussed the Sahelian climate-security risks, together with representatives from the European Center for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), Mercy Corps and Enda Energie.
Resilience for (climate) security
The Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development is jointly organized by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Forum’s 2022 edition examined ways to enable an environment of peace in the face of converging crises. The events explored changes needed within the economy, institutions, governments, organizations, companies and societies to sustain the natural environment, biodiversity and human progress while sustaining peace and security. These goals are set out in the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, which seeks to strengthen universal peace, eradicate poverty and promote sustainable peace.
Improving security and climate resilience in a fragile context
The virtual event: "Building resilience to climate-security risks in the Sahel: Insights from research and practices” was held on May 23rd 2022. It provided practical and policy solutions to better manage transboundary climate and security risks in the Sahel. The panel was moderated by Ms Hanne Knaepen, Head of Climate and Green Transition Programme at ECDPM. Together with Mr Boubacar, the virtual panel discussion was held with the participation of Ms Maëlle Salzinger Research Assistant at ECDPM, Mr Wise Nzikie Ngasa, Justice and Resilience Programme Director at Mercy Corps Mali, and Mr Emmanuel Seck, Programme Coordinator at Enda Energie.
The discussion sought to deepen the understanding of government and civil society actors at local, national, and regional level to building resilience against climate and security risks. The target audience was mainly practitioners, policymaker and researchers working in the climate and security domains in the Sahel who are interested in concrete, solution-oriented approaches to respond to climate and security risks.
At the beginning of the discussion, it was highlighted how the momentum is growing to explicitly investigate not only the transboundary risks associated with climate change, but also risks resulting from adaptation at different scales. Mr Boubacar emphasized on the climate-security risks in Sahel, and underlined the role of international organisations, such as River Basin Organisations (RBOs) to respond to these risks. He indicated the importance of tackling the issue through a bottom-up approach and accentuated the need for the involvement of local stakeholders to the decision-making. Meanwhile most projects fail to take the local-level needs into account, he disclosed: “I believe we can only mitigate climate security risks in the Sahel through a process connecting local communities’ voices into national and regional policies”.
This event is well-aligned with the activities of the Frexus project (co-financed by the European Union and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ). At a time when armed conflicts are at a record high, non-state armed groups are proliferating, and human security crisis is raging due to the impacts of rapid environmental and climate change, extreme weather events may generate or amplify local grievances, particularly in fragile, conflict-affected countries. The Frexus project aims to support more conflict-sensitive and climate-sensitive management of land, natural resources and ecosystems in targeted communities, taking into consideration the needs of vulnerable groups.
The sessions of the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, including the expert debate on the climate-security risks in the Sahel paved the way for discussions at the Stockholm+50 Conference, hosted by Sweden between 1st–3rd
June 2022. The Conference centred around the topic of “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all”. It featured four plenary sessions in which leaders made calls for bold environmental action to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Watch the full recorded session: here.