Climate change amplifies conflicts, hinders peacebuilding

 

 

Climate change poses serious challenges to current and future peacebuilding efforts and can amplify conflicts, according to a report on years of devastating violence and drought in Somalia released Wednesday.

Researchers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) looked at how conflicts and the peacebuilding efforts of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) have been affected by climate change, and found that it “amplifies existing challenges and strengthens radical groups”.

“What it shows is that the security landscape is changing with climate change,” Florian Krampe, senior researcher at SIPRI’s climate change programme, told AFP, adding that many of the findings are applicable to other conflicts.

According to the report, decades of conflict in Somalia — described as “among the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world” — have been magnified by a series of severe droughts, which adds pressure to the country’s state-building process and makes UNSOM’s work more challenging in a number of ways.

For instance, the frequency and severity of conflicts between herders and farmers in the country’s rural regions have increased as changing seasons and weather means herding nomads have to adjust their routes.

Droughts and floods also displace more people, who seek shelter in camps which then serve as recruitment grounds for radical groups like al-Shabaab.

The displacement of large groups into new areas can also undermine the governance of those areas, as existing power-sharing agreements no longer represent the “demographic composition” on the ground.

While Krampe was hesitant to say that climate change by itself could cause conflict, he thought the evidence was clear that “climate change increases the probability of conflict and of violence”.

According to the UN’s refugee agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, some 2.6-million people are currently internally displaced in Somalia and more than 800 000 remain displaced in neighbouring countries as a result of armed conflicts and recurring droughts.

© Agence France-Presse


These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agency
External source
Advertising

Coalition politics and law: The fight over Tshwane

With coalition politics on the rise, particularly in local government, this kind of court case is likely to become more common

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread
Advertising

Press Releases

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday