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Document Abstract
Published: 2015

Climate change and state fragility in the Sahel

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Many climate experts agree that the Sahel is a key hotspot for global climate change. Throughout the region, higher temperatures, increasingly variable rainfall, and more frequent droughts and storms will interact with high levels of vulnerability and low adaptive capacities to significantly challenge continued development progress. Increasing regional insecurity further threatens development: ongoing civil conflicts and secessionist movements, the pervasiveness of organised crime, and the rise of extremists groups such as Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The security implications of these trends extend beyond the Sahel to Africa more broadly, Europe and the Middle East. Ensuring that climate change does not trigger or further exacerbate conflict or weaken states across the Sahel will be a major challenge for both national governments and international actors.
  • climate change can combine with political and economic instability, poverty, inequality and historical grievances to exacerbate tensions or trigger conflict
  • poor governance, weak institutions, capacity constraints and corruption restrict the ability of Sahelien states to address climate change
  • peacebuilding interventions should be climate-resilient and climate change responses must be conflict sensitive
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A. Crawford

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