Lake Chad is caught in a conflict trap. It is experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies with an estimated 10.7 million people in need of assistance. Now a new G7 mandated report from the Berlin based think tank adelphi shows, for the first time, how climate change is interacting with the conflict to compound the crisis and sets out how these challenges might be overcome.
The independent report "Shoring Up Stability: Addressing climate and fragility risks in the Lake Chad region“ shows that climate change and conflict dynamics create a feedback loop where climate change impacts seed additional pressures while conflict undermines communities’ abilities to cope. It concludes that the impacts of climate change have to be tackled as part of peacebuilding efforts as well as humanitarian aid and development cooperation if the region is to break free of the conflict trap. In doing this the Lake Chad Basin can once again become an engine for sustainable livelihoods and stability in the region.
The draft report has been presented at the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development today by Janani Vivekananda. The lead author of the report and senior advisor with adelphi said that:
“In this report, we identified four climate-fragility risks in the region. These are risks that climate change can exacerbate. In the Lake Chad region these include the undermining of livelihoods, conflict over natural resources, recruitment into armed opposition groups and the overmilitarised response by local governments. All of these risks underline the fact that we need to focus our responses on addressing the root causes of a conflict to achieve lasting and sustainable solutions rather than thinking in traditional military terms.”
This report is the first of its kind on the Lake Chad region and a pioneer of climate-fragility risk assessments globally. It is the product of an intensive two-year period of interdisciplinary research across Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. It combines long-term hydrological data from the Lake Chad basin as well as brand new analysis of 20 years of satellite observations. It also builds on almost 250 interviews with community members, including past and present members of armed groups, as well as experts and officials.
The report as well as infographics, a comic and video material is available for download now at www.shoring-up-stability.org. Shoring Up Stability was supported by the Foreign Ministeries of the Netherlands and Germany.