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CLIMATE CHANGE AND CONFLICT

Climate change is already affecting the physical security of vulnerable communities around the world, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Most recent studies agree that existing conflict zones and areas of latent tension are likely to persist and widen in geographic scope and intensity. The key assumption is that environmental trends such as water scarcity and land degradation do not per se cause conflict. The emergence and intensity of conflict rather depends on the adaptive capacities of a given society to resist and manage conflict. In this respect, governance plays a key role.


The IfP-EW climate change cluster aims to explore: the linkages between climate change, conflict and fragility; the challenges of responding to climate change-related risks in ways which avoid violence; and the role of governance in managing and preventing conflict. The cluster will build an understanding of how these complex and interlinked issues could be addressed and integrated into the policy and response mechanisms of local, national, regional and international institutions.


Through in-country research, regional dialogue and meetings, cluster members will analyse the implications of current and future climate impacts on security in fragile contexts, in particular looking at the ability of governance structures and institutions to manage these changes. Focus areas for research cover four regions of the world which are highly vulnerable to climate change: In Europe, the Mediterranean and Tajikistan; in Latin America, Argentina, Mexico, in Asia, India, Nepal, and the Philippines; and in Africa, Uganda. Based on research findings, the cluster aims to build knowledge, provide practical guidance, and support advocacy efforts around who can do what and how to promote peaceful responses to climate change risks and consequences.

Cluster coordinator : Dennis Taenzler, adelphi

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LATEST CLIMATE CHANGE AND CONFLICT PUBLICATIONS
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Climate Change and Conflict
Synthesis Report

Author(s): Dennis Taenzler (adelphi); Janani Vivekananda (International Alert); Daniela Kolarova (PDCI); Thanos Dokos (Eliamep)
2012-05-01

The IfP-EW Climate Change and Conflict cluster explored the linkages between climate change, conflict and fragility. Through the review and development of conflict analysis approaches, in-country research, regional dialogue and meetings, the implications of current and future climate impacts on security in fragile contexts were analysed, in particular the ability of governance structures and institutions to manage these changes. This synthesis report outlines key recommendations on how these complex and interlinked issues could be addressed and integrated into the policy and response mechanisms of local, national, regional and international institutions.

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Practice Note: Conflict-Sensitive Responses to Climate Change in South Asia

Author(s): Janani Vivekananda
2011-10-01

This note explains the importance of using a conflict-sensitive approach to responding to climate change in South Asia. It offers guidelines and emerging principles on how climate change and development policy makers and practitioners can promote peace-positive adaptation actions which can yield the double dividend of building resilience to climate change and conflict. Issues of water, land, energy and food security are highly affected by climate change. At the same time, inappropriate governance of these issues lies at the root of conflicts across the region. The note proposes that engagement in these areas needs to be approached in a comprehensive way which maximises the productive capacity of local communities, while also minimising the risk of instability and conflict.

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Water, Crisis and Climate Change in India: A Policy Brief

Author(s): Dennis Taenzler, Lukas Ruettinger, Katherina Ziegenhagen (adelphi); Gopalakrishna Murthy, Academy of Gandhian Studies
2011-10-01

Changes in temperature, precipitation, and humidity due to climate change may have significant implications for the quality and quantity of water in India. India’s water resources are under increasing pressure from population growth, economic development, industrialisation, urbanisation and inefficient water use. Several internal water disputes already existing in India between states, communities and/or water user groups in the domestic and the industrial sectors may be aggravated. Approaches need to be promoted to reduce the overall amount of future water stress and improve water management capacities. Additionally, joint monitoring, planning of water user groups, and initiatives for education and training on water, climate change and crisis can enable water user groups to recognise crisis potential at an early stage.

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