At its 585th meeting on March 30 2016, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union held an open session on Climate Change: State fragility, peace and security in Africa.
The debate reflected the collective acknowledgement that climate change, peace and security in Africa are inextricably linked, stressing the need for all AU Member States to further build national resilience capacities.
The Council also acknowledged that climate change in Africa, especially in pastoral communities, is a potential trigger of inter-communal violence, therefore calling on Member States to share international expertise and coordinate international efforts in mitigating the impacts of climate change. This resonates with the findings and recommendations of last year’s New Climate for Peace report that stressed the importance of increasing local resilience and coordinating efforts to jointly reduce climate-fragility risks.
Particularly with regard to early warning and conflict prevention efforts, the Council stressed the importance of mainstreaming climate change into all of the AU Commission’s activities. It requested the AU Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) to intensify its cooperation with early warning centres of the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs) in order to build capacity of Member States in this regard.
Concluding the debate, the Council agreed to hold an annual open session on climate change.
Please consult our Factbook for further information on conflicts involving pastoral communities of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The longstanding dispute over water rights among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia escalated in 2011 when Ethiopia began construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in the absence of any agreement with downstream Egypt. The GERD dispute offers an alarming insight into just how dangerous future transboundary water disputes may become, particularly in the context of a changing climate.
Though focused on climate change, National Adaptation Plans offer important assessments of the risks a country faces and can be valuable in devising comprehensive pandemic response strategies.
Women in the region suffer disproportionately from climate impacts, but they also play an essential role in addressing climate change. With the right policy responses, it is possible to reduce security risks and empower women to better address the challenges they face.
As part of this year’s online World Water Week at Home, adelphi and IHE Delft convened the workshop "Water diplomacy: a tool for climate action?". The workshop reflected on the role that foreign policy can play in mitigating, solving and potentially preventing conflicts over the management of transboundary water resources, especially in a changing climate.