n Conflict Trends - Climate change-conflict nexus : framework for policy-oriented action

Volume 2011, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


"The devastating drought that affected large areas of Kenya in 2009 and the upsurge in inter-community violence in the north of the country highlighted an apparent connection between climate change and conflict. However, the evidence-base for this connection is limited and it is therefore imperative to analyze how these factors interact in reality rather than to make assumptions."

The above quote provides the basis on which this article is written. This article bridges the climate change-conflict gap by providing a framework or lens through which policy-action research on the nexus between climate change and conflict can be designed and implemented. The framework that is suggested is derived from specific field cases and experiences, as well as a review of relevant literature by both academics and practitioners in the field.
The article begins with a brief discussion of the concept of climate change, as provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This discussion is then linked to climate change hazards, where it is argued that climate change does not happen in a vacuum, but rather it is embedded in a socio-ecological system. Climate change hazards, therefore, create imbalances in the socio-ecological system that have the potential to exacerbate or even trigger violence in some contexts. Having laid this foundation, three analysis tools are suggested. These provide a lens through which policy recommendations on the nexus between climate change and conflict can be properly understood.

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