G7 Lake Chad Risk Assessment Project

Lake Chad – Tackling Climate-Fragility Risks

The Lake Chad Basin is currently suffering the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with approximately 10.7 million people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. The G7 Lake Chad Risk Assessment Project is a concerted effort to address critical knowledge gaps on climate and fragility risks in the region.

  • 80-90% of the population depend on agriculture, fisheries and livestock for their livelihoods.
  • 7.1 million people severely food insecure during the 2017 lean season.
  • 2.6 million displaced people (Source: FAO).

While the current crisis was triggered by violence linked to armed groups such as Boko Haram, the situation has deep roots in longstanding developmental challenges. Widespread inequality and decades of political marginalisation of the communities in the region has instilled an entrenched sense of exclusion and lack of trust between communities and the government. Against this backdrop, the region also faces significant environmental stress.

Insurgency report graphic - adelphi

The resulting resource scarcity, livelihood insecurity and extreme poverty have exacerbated tensions between pastoralists, farmers, and fishers. These livelihood stresses are also making young people more vulnerable to recruitment by non-state armed groups such as Boko Haram and illicit employment, and feeds into armed conflict and contributes to widespread internal as well as cross-border displacement – nurturing a vicious cycle of fragility and armed violence. The impacts of climate change on state and societies around Lake Chad will further exacerbate these pressures.

The international community, donors and national governments have started a number of initiatives targeted at addressing the humanitarian crisis in the region. However, despite the significant role climate change plays in shaping the risk landscape, there is as yet no analysis or process which explicitly takes account of the role climate change plays in either risk or shaping appropriate responses.

What will we do?

The G7 Lake Chad Risk Assessment Project is a concerted effort to address the critical gap in knowledge and action on climate and fragility risks in the region, in a timely and practical manner. The process-oriented, locally grounded, integrated risk assessment of the Lake Chad region, aims to provide:

  1. An identification of linked risks and resilience dimensions
  2. Substantive policy recommendations for foreign policy makers on entry points for intervention in the region, and effective modes of engagement.

The assessment will build upon the G7 commissioned report A New Climate For Peace and apply these conclusions to the Lake Chad context.

The project will use the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI)’s annual conferences in 2017 and 2018 as a platform to both generate and validate knowledge and to share the assessment approach and findings amongst the global community of practice on climate and security.


The assessment includes the following components:

  • A comprehensive analysis of the interconnected and compound climate-fragility risks based on primary data and a strong participatory process.
  • A climate-fragility check on policies, strategies, initiatives and programs of the G7 as well as national governments from the region and other important actors such as the EU and the World Bank.
  • Targeted policy recommendations to ministries of foreign affairs and donors and practical recommendations for implementing agencies on addressing climate and security risks in the Lake Chad region.


Inception phase: 4 September 2017 – 31 December 2017 

Assessment phase: January 2018 – June 2019


The assessment will be carried out by a consortium of leading research institutes led by adelphi:

  • adelphi – to lead in project management, development of assessment approach, lead in climate-fragility assessment and drafting outputs.
  • Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) (France) – to provide climate expertise on Lake Chad, including a base line of climate and environmental context.
  • Woodrow Wilson Center – to support with analysis, report editing and outreach activities.

Local expertise and engagement will be provided by a

  • local research team, led by Maiduguri-based conflict analysis expert, IRD local partners and Lake Chad Basin Commission

Stay up to date

The Twitter accounts @adelphi_berlin and @ClimateDiplo and the hashtag #LakeChad will help you stay up to date with the developments in the Lake Chad region and with the progress of the G7 Lake Chad Risk Assessment ProjectYou may also subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation” to receive latest news, and visit www.ecc-platform.org for articles and videos revolving around climate and security. 

adelphi resources on Lake Chad

Selected Projects

Selected Publications