Climate change and conflict

Communities around the world are already experiencing more extreme weather conditions, longer dry seasons and rising sea levels. This is contributing to different patterns of migration, competition for natural resources and food insecurity – trends which look set to increase over time.

Environmental and climatic changes are exacerbating the complex burdens that developing countries have to face. Their impact is felt worst by the poorest and most vulnerable in society, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected states. Here, the disruption caused by these changes combines with issues such as poor infrastructure, fragile institutions and the effects of recent armed conflict or social unrest, to create a double-headed threat to peace and stability.

Effective responses to this threat are hampered by gaps in knowledge about the social, political and security impact of such change and a lack of understanding on how to strengthen resilience to these risks and challenges.

The inequitable governance of natural resources can also be a major cause of unrest and conflict. Mistrust and conflict between states, government departments and local communities are a major barrier to more effective and equitable natural resource governance. Greater public participation and consultation, as well as fair allocation of resources, are vital for promoting more peaceful management of natural resources.

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