Media headlines are dominated by the prospect of regional water wars. Clearly, climate change poses several threats to human security; in particular, hydro-climatic hazards such as droughts and floods have a considerable capacity to exacerbate social tensions, intra- and inter-state conflict. Still, cooperation often trumps conflict. There are surprisingly few peer-reviewed studies rigorously addressing links between climate change, hydrological systems, conflict and security.
CLICO aims to fill this gap in knowledge over the social dimensions of climate change, by looking whether hydro-climatic hazards intensify social tensions and conflicts in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Sahel, or if they provide a catalyst for cooperation and peace. It examines why some countries and communities are more vulnerable to droughts, floods and related conflict, and what types of policies and institutions are necessary to ensure adaptation, security and peace in the face of global and regional hydro-climatic change.
The project mobilizes 13 research teams from Europe, North Africa, Sahel and the Middle East and will bring together for the first time some of the world’s leading researchers in water resource, vulnerability, and peace and security studies. Ten cases of hydro-conflicts are studied ranging from Niger, Sudan, the Jordan and Nile basins to Cyprus, Italy and the Sinai desert. A large dataset – the first of its kind – of hydro-conflicts in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Sahel is regressed against climatic, hydrological and socio-economic variables. Policies and institutions at the national, international and transboundary levels are investigated and their ability to face climate change and ensure human security is assessed.
Project results will be synthesised in a report that aims to identify potential security hotspots in the region and provide fresh policy ideas for promoting peace and security under changing hydro-climatic conditions.
ECOLOGIC – Institut für Internationale und Europäische Umweltpolitik
United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security
Fabrice Gilles Renaud
- University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
- Institutt for Fredsforskning Stifte, Olso, NO
- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IL
- Suze Canal University, Ismalia, EG
- Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, CH
- Cyprus Research and Educational Foundation, Nicosia, CY
- University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
- Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water and Environmental Resources Development, Ramallah, PS
- Centro de Investigacion Ecologtica y Applicaciones Forestales Consorcio, Bellaterra, ES
- Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization, Brussels, BE
- Addis Ababa University, ET
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
(small and medium scale focused research project)
Activity 4: Europe and the world
Area: Conflicts, peace and human rights
Conflicts and peace
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