Policy Briefing // The Climate–Conflict Nexus in Africa: A Conflict-Sensitive Approach
By Julia Freedberg. This policy briefing recommends that the Global North needs to deliver more climate finance commitments and for African countries to priorities climate change adaptation strategies. Further it suggests that climate change adaptation requires a conflict-sensitive manner and should be informed by affected communities and tailored to the contextual needs of these communities.
Africa is one of the areas that are most vulnerable to both climate change and conflict. Despite contributing very little to the changing climate, the continent still bears the brunt of the resultant impacts. Some studies and media coverage have predicted an increase in violent conflict in African countries as a result of climate change. While there is consensus about climate change’s being a risk multiplier, and therefore having the potential to exacerbate existing problems, the link between climate change and violent conflict remains highly complex, contextual and often indirect. Together with other conflict factors, climate change can undermine human security in vulnerable communities in Africa. This can happen in different ways, such as changes in precipitation and temperature, or extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, which can result in resource scarcity, forced migration, land degradation or infrastructure issues. Thus, climate change adaptation strategies are crucial in order to protect communities in Africa, particularly as climate impacts are already visible. Such strategies require a conflict-sensitive approach, specifically in communities where other destabilising factors could contribute to violence.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
To read more, download the full Policy Briefing or visit the SAIIA webpage.
Follow the FREXUS project to learn more about improving security and climate resilience in a fragile context through the Water-Energy-Food Nexus.
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