Climate Change
Early Warning & Risk Analysis
Global Issues
adelphi
Kathmandu, Nepal, urban
Kathmandu, Nepal. Climate change impacts local livelihoods and undermines stability in the country, fueling conflict and increasing fragility. Nepal is one of the project's pilot countries. | © Mohan Khadka/Unsplash

Climate change is increasingly challenging global security and undermining peacebuilding efforts. UN Environment and the European Union have joined forces to address these challenges. With the support of adelphi, they have developed a toolkit on ‘Addressing climate-fragility risks’. This toolkit facilitates the development and implementation of strategies, policies, and projects that seek to build resilience by linking climate change adaptation, peacebuilding, and sustainable livelihoods, focusing on the pilot countries Sudan and Nepal.

Climate change is a threat to peace and security

We know that climate change is one of the 21st century’s most pervasive global threats to peace and security. It touches all areas of security, peacebuilding and development. Its impacts have already increased the insecurity of vulnerable communities, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. In these struggling communities, the effects of climate change can adversely affect food security, human mobility, economic growth, and political stability. Negative climate impacts such as water shortages or falling crop yields interact political, social, and economic stresses to compound existing tensions. In turn, violent conflict and political instability leave communities poorer, less resilient, and ill equipped to cope with the consequences of climate change. This vicious cycle can catch and keep countries and communities in a climate-conflict trap of increasing fragility and vulnerability.

Strengthening resilience to climate-fragility risks

To address these challenges, the UN Security Council, the African Union, the G7 and many others have appealed for improved global analysis and strengthened action at the local level. And UN Environment and the European Union are responding to the call, joining forces to create a toolkit that helps crisis- and conflict-affected countries tackle the effects of climate change.

Building on the newest research and lessons learned from the emerging field of climate change and security, the toolkit helps policy-makers and practitioners by linking the conceptual framework with hands-on tools that are easy and ready to use, e.g. a conflict sensitivity checklist, mapping approaches, and conflict analysis tools. It is a key pillar of the four-year project Climate Change and Security (2017-2021). The project is supported by the EU’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, and has been developed in partnership with adelphi. In the two pilot countries, Sudan and Nepal, the project is teaming up with Practical Action for implementation activities at the national and local level.

Integrating climate change adaptation, peacebuilding and sustainable livelihoods

The toolkit should help local and national decision-makers take a more holistic approach to preventing and resolving conflict: to date, responses to climate change have failed to address the full range of knock-on effects. Most climate change programmes do not address conflict and ignore future conflict impacts, while most peacebuilding programmes do not take climate risks into account. As a result, development organizations frequently design separate programmes for climate change adaptation and peacebuilding, sometimes with conflicting objectives.

We need to move away from these fragmented responses and disconnected approaches need to be overcome. Three entry points are of particular relevance to link climate change adaptation, peacebuilding and sustainable livelihoods:

  • the sustainable management of natural resources;
  • developing sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable and marginalised population groups; and
  • strengthening inclusive governance.

 

DOWNLOAD

The toolkit Addressing climate-fragility risks – Linking peacebuilding, climate change adaptation and sustainable livelihoods consists of three documents:

Guidance note | Monitoring and Evaluation | Toolbox


Natasha Vizcarra, Global Landscapes Forum

Now in its second decade, the ambitious African Union–led restoration initiative known as the Great Green Wall has brought close to 18 million hectares of land under restoration since 2007, according to a status report unveiled by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at a virtual meeting on Monday, 7 September.

Adaptation & Resilience
Global Issues
Anne Hammill, IISD

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.

Water
Global Issues
Raquel Munayer, adelphi

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.

Forests
South America
Adriana E. Abdenur, Igarapé Institute

The Cerrado, a tropical savannah region located in Central Brazil, is nearly half as large as the Amazon and a deforestation hotspot. Yet little attention is paid to this important biome. That has to change.