How climate change locks the Lake Chad region into a conflict trap
On 24 and 30 October 2019, adelphi presents the report “Shoring Up Stability” in Niamey (Niger) and Berlin (Germany). For the first time, a study shows how climate change is interacting with the conflict and compounds the crisis in the Lake Chad region.
The Lake Chad region (Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria) is caught in a conflict trap. It is experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies with an estimated 10.7 million people in need of assistance. 16 October 2019 marks 5 years since a peace agreement was agreed between the government of Nigeria and armed opposition groups to end hostilities and return over 200 abducted girls. And yet the violence still continues.
adelphi’s report Shoring up Stability demonstrates, for the first time, how climate change is interacting with the conflict and compounds the crisis in the Lake Chad region. The assessment shows that climate change and conflict dynamics create a feedback loop where climate change impacts seed additional pressures while conflict undermines communities’ abilities to cope.
The authors identified four climate-fragility risks in the region that climate change can exacerbate. In the Lake Chad region these include the undermining of livelihoods, conflict over natural resources, recruitment into armed opposition groups and the over-militarised response by local governments.
Janani Vivekananda, a lead author of the report and senior advisor with adelphi said that:
“All of these risks underline the fact that we need to focus our responses on addressing the root causes of a conflict to achieve lasting and sustainable solutions rather than thinking in traditional military terms.”
The report concludes with a number of practical opportunities where the impacts of climate change can be tackled as part of peacebuilding efforts as well as humanitarian aid and development cooperation if the region is to break free of the conflict trap. One very timely entry point is to ensure these risks are addressed through the new UNDP initiated and German-supported Regional Stabilization Facility for Lake Chad.
Through addressing climate and fragility as part of tackling the root causes of existing as well as future risks, there is hope that Lake Chad Basin can once again become an engine for sustainable livelihoods and stability in the region.
This independent research is the first of its kind on the Lake Chad region and a pioneer of climate-fragility risk assessments globally. Supported by the German and Dutch governments, it is the product of an intensive two-year period of interdisciplinary research across Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. It combines long-term hydrological data from the Lake Chad basin as well as brand new analysis of 20 years of satellite observations. It also builds on more than 200 interviews with community members, including past and present members of armed groups, as well as experts and officials.
The report as well as infographics, a comic and video material is available for download now at www.shoring-up-stability.org
Janani Vivekananda, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivekananda, Janani; Martin Wall, Florence Sylvestre and Chitra Nagarajan 2019: Shoring Up Stability. Adressing climate and fragility risks in the Lake Chad region. Berlin: adelphi.
https://www.adelphi.de/en/news/launch-shoring-stability-addressing-climate-fragility-risks-lake-chad-basin Learn more about the launch events
https://shoring-up-stability.org/the-report/ Find the report here
https://shoring-up-stability.org/visuals/ Pictures and infographics of the report
https://shoring-up-stability.org/the-story/ The story behind the report (graphic novel)