The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Tackling the threat multiplier: Addressing the role of climate change in conflict dynamics

Competition for natural resources, including water, land, and forests, have long been recognized as a source of contention, and sometimes even violence. Macro trends like population growth and climate change can exacerbate these issues, particularly in areas of scarcity. Population growth puts more pressure on limited resources, while climate change impacts resource availability and quality. Climate change is recognized as a threat multiplier that aggravates non-climate stressors such as population growth, poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions. As such, there is a critical need to understand and address the climate-drivers of conflict.

At the September Adaptation Community Meeting, Eliot Levine, Director of the Environment Technical Support Unit at Mercy Corps, will discuss the pathways by which climate change can lead to greater risks of conflict, and discuss Mercy Corps’ strategic approach to addressing the climate drivers of conflict. Joining him will be Maurice Amollo, a Mercy Corps Chief of Party in Nigeria. Mr. Amollo will present a case study of the USAID-funded PEACE III program, a cross-border conflict management initiative in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda which supported communities’ resilience to climate shocks, while expanding understanding on the links between climate change and conflict, and building an evidence base of effective peacebuilding approaches.