Climate change and security in West Africa: regional perspectives on addressing climate-related security risks

This brief summarises a working group’s analysis of climate-related security risks in West Africa, responses to those risks and recommendations for actions to address them. In view of the need for locally anchored analyses and responses to climate-related security risks in West Africa, Friedrich- Ebert-Stiftung’s Peace and Security Centre of Competence Sub-Saharan Africa, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NU PI) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) organised a series of meetings for West African experts, researchers and civil society organisations, from November 2021 to November 2022. Climate change is altering security landscapes around the world. West Africa is experiencing climate change at rates faster than the global average. Climate change is also interacting with regional political tensions, violent conflicts and complex humanitarian emergencies. As changing climate conditions impact natural resource availability, biodiversity and agricultural productivity, low levels of resilience are magnifying the human security implications of climate change in West Africa. In the next 10-20 years, unprecedented changes in temperatures and precipitation are projected in the region. Simultaneously, violent conflicts are escalating and spreading, as more and more countries witness spill-over effects.

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