Climate Change and Conflict in the Sahel: Findings from Niger and Burkina Faso
This report, part of a series of studies that address adaptation to climate change in West Africa, presents the political, economic, and demographic setting relevant to stability and instability for Niger and Burkina Faso and examines recent and projected climate trends and vulnerabilities, followed by a discussion of key institutional weaknesses.
Four primary questions framed the report's research approach and analysis:
- Does (or could) climate change contribute to the conditions for organized, political violence?
- Does climate change contribute to circumstances with high conflict potential linked to the use of natural resources by specific livelihood groups or identity groups? If so, how and why?
- What is the relationship of either of these types of conflict with resilience?
- What are possible programmatic options or approaches to enable USAID to invest more effectively in programs to build resilience and prevent or mitigate conflict?
The report's section on Niger states that cumulative forces, such as increasing climate variability and intensity, rapid demographic change, continual extension of agriculture to new lands, environmental degradation, regional agreements on pastoral mobility, and new forms of commercial activities, are configuring new situations of competition over resources that increase the potential for conflict. It also includes information on common causes for farmer-pastoralist conflicts, pastoralist-pastoralist conflicts, and farmer-farmer conflicts.
As for Burkina Faso, the report mentions that the combination of more people on less land, poor management of natural resources (particularly water resources), and increasing climate variability has made the livelihoods of both agriculturalists and pastoralists in Burkina Faso more insecure.
The report concludes with a summary of key findings and eight recommendations for action that can help build resilience and reduce conflict in Niger and Burkina Faso.
Access other documents in this series:
- Climate Change and Conflict in the Sahel: A Policy Brief on Findings from Niger and Burkina Faso
- Climate Change and Conflict in West African Cities: A Policy Brief on Findings from Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana
- Climate Change and Conflict in West African Cities: Findings from Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana