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The Climate-conflict Nexus in Africa: A Conflict-sensitive Approach

25 April 2022


Africa is one of the areas that are most vulnerable to both climate change and conflict. Despite contributing very little to the changing climate, the continent still bears the brunt of the resultant impacts. Some studies and media coverage have predicted an increase in violent conflict in African countries as a result of climate change. While there is consensus about climate change’s being a risk multiplier, and therefore having the potential to exacerbate existing problems, the link between climate change and violent conflict remains highly complex, contextual and often indirect. Together with other conflict factors, climate change can undermine human security in vulnerable communities in Africa. This can happen in different ways, such as changes in precipitation and temperature, or extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, which can result in resource scarcity, forced migration, land degradation or infrastructure issues. Thus, climate change adaptation strategies are crucial in order to protect communities in Africa, particularly as climate impacts are already visible. Such strategies require a conflict-sensitive approach, specifically in communities where other destabilising factors could contribute to violence.



africa climate change adaptation violence conflict climatic changes violent conflict