Climate Change and the Risk of Violent Conflicts in Southern Africa

TitelClimate Change and the Risk of Violent Conflicts in Southern Africa
Typ der PublikationBook
Untertitel / SerientitelStudy by the Center for Sustainable Development at Uppsala University
AutorInnenSwain, A, Bali Swain, R, Themnér, A, Krampe, F
Anzahl Seiten118 pp.
VerlagGlobal Crisis Solutions

This study aims to identify regions in the Zambezi River Basin in Southern Africa that are prone to risk of violent conflicts (collective violence, popular unrest) induced by climatic changes/variability. The Zambezi River is 575 kilometres long and the basin covers eight countries: Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia. Besides the ecological impact, the study argues that socio-economic and political problems are disproportionately multiplied by climate change/variability. Climate change/variability amplifies stresses on the socio-political fabric because it affects the governance of resources, and hence, is linked to the weakened mitigation and adaptation capacity of societies, that are already facing economic challenges (rising food prices, etc.). Society becomes highly vulnerable to climate induced conflicts when it suffers from poor central leadership, weak institutions and polarized social identities. Taking all these factors into consideration, this study identifies Bulawayo/Matableleland-North in Zimbabwe and the Zambezia Province in Mozambique as the most likely regions to experience climate induced conflicts in the near future. The reasons for arriving at this conclusion are: a) Climate change/variability will have a significant impact onthese two regions; due to increasing water scarcity in Bulawayo/Matabeleland-North; and intensified flooding, sea-level rise, and costal erosion in the Zambezia Province. b) Due to climate change/variability, agricultural production in these two regions will become highly volatile, leading to severe food insecurity. c) Both regions are suffering from low quality political governance, having unscrupulous elites, weak institutions, and polarized social identities. Download

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