Climate Change and Security in Africa
- ISSN: 00223433
- DOI: 10.1177/0022343311426165
As science has revealed that the rate and intensity of climate change is increasing at unprecedented levels, we have begun to realize that it holds potentially serious implications for international security. Analysts argue that climate changeby redrawing the maps of water availability, food security, disease prevalence and coastal boundariescould potentially increase forced migration, raise tensions and trigger new conflicts. The imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manage the impacts of climate change present, in the starkest manner possible, our global interdependence. Africa, though the continent the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, is almost universally seen as the continent most at risk of climate-induced conflicta function of the continents reliance on climate-dependent sectors (such as rain-fed agriculture) and its history of resource, ethnic and political conflict. At the turn of the 21st century more people were being killed in wars in this region than in the rest of the world combined. However, recent years have seen a steady progress in the improvement of Africas economic prospects, in the reduction of levels of conflict and in the quality of governance and the number and nature of democracies. The African Union and its constituent regional economic communities, through its security architecture, have developed into key players in the reduction of conflict in Africa. Nevertheless, with its tremendous natural resources and remarkable social and ecological diversity, the continent reflects a close dependency of people on natural resources. It is this dependency and its fragile governance capacities that may present Africa with potentially severe problems in adapting to the future effects of climate change. In this report, prepared for the Nordic-African Foreign Ministers Forum in Copenhagen in March 2009, IISD examines some of the threats that climate change could pose to security for the continent. These include: Increased water scarcity Decreased food security Large-scale climate-induced migration The impact of climate change on poverty and state fragility Non-linear climate change The paper also identifies a set of strategies for peace and development in a changing climate: Improve projections and predictions Minimize dangerous climate change Adapt to the impacts of climate change Integrate climate change into all relevant levels of governance
Climate Change and Security in Af...
and Security in Africa
Vulnerability Discussion Paper
This Vulnerability Document has derived benefit from the kind financial assistance of the German Federal
Government and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The document does
not necessarily reflect the views of the German Federal Government or Sida, and sole responsibility for
content rests with the individual authors.
The Vulnerability Document is a product of collaboration of Vulnerability Cells co-ordinated by UNFAO,
UNEP, Global Water Institute, Madariaga—College of Europe Foundation and the International
Organization for Migration. The Vulnerability Cells have been established within “The Africa, Climate
Change, Environment and Security” (ACCES) Dialogue Forum and Process.
The activities have been assisted by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.
The document has benefitted greatly from the German Federal Government, the Institute for
Environmental Studies, the European Investment Bank, and UNIDO.
The document was produced with the financial support of Sida and the German Federal Government.
The document does not necessarily reflect the views of any government or international organisation.
Water Security Valerie Ndaruzaniye, President, Global Water Institute
Eckhard Volkmann, Desk Officer, Peacebuilding and Crisis Prevention, Federal Government
Food Security Leslie Lipper, Senior Environmental Economist, UN FAO
Mulat Demeke, Economist, UN FAO
Jeronim Capaldo, Economist, UN FAO
Energy Security Daniel Fiott, Research Fellow, Madariaga—College of Europe Foundation
Patrice Yamba T. Kantu, Project Coordinator, Institute for Environmental Security
Florian Peter Iwinjak, UNIDO
Migration Alex Flavell, Policy Liaison and Project Development Coordinator, International Organization
Patrice Quesada, Migration Policy Officer, International Organization for Migration
Natural Disasters Jeanette Clover, Senior Programme Officer, UNEP
A document prepared by the following members of the Africa, Climate Change,
Environment and Security (ACCES) Dialogue Process: