Climate change influences the probability of occurrence armed conflicts in africa and in its duration. This is the result of a study carried out by a team from the INGENIO Institute (Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Management), a joint center of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), together with the University of Rome and the University of Urbino Carlo Bo. Their results are published in the latest issue of the journal Political economy.

The research team based their study on data from the African continent. from 1990 to 2016. For this, they applied a mathematical model of negative binomial regression that evaluated whether certain climatic phenomena, in combination with the socioeconomic characteristics of the areas studied, affected the probability of a conflict occurring or not and, if it did, the duration.

Affects populations located within a radius of about 550 kilometers

Among its conclusions, the study ensures that a prolonged increase in temperatures and precipitation increases between four and five times the probability of conflicts outside the affected area, specifically in populations located within a radius of about 550 kilometers.

On the other hand, the work also concludes that, in Africa, the food shortages due to drought increases the likelihood of conflict erupting, especially if water shortages persist for at least three years. On the contrary, excessive rainfall triggers conflicts, but in a very short period of time.

Implications for adaptation policies

“The results we have obtained have far-reaching implications for territorial policies on the African continent. For example, changes in climatic conditions influence the probability of conflicts in large areas, which implies that the design of climate adaptation policies must take into account the particularities of each territory”, he highlights. David Consoliresearcher at the INGENIO Institute and one of the authors of the study.

The design of climate adaptation policies must consider the particularities of each territory

David Consoli

Likewise, the team from INGENIO, the University of Rome and the University of Urbino also points out that the persistence of violence requires the implementation of strategies to adapt to climate change designed in conjunction with measures that favor the maintenance of peace, especially in areas more prone to armed conflict.

“These measures are essential in the design and implementation of strategies toadaptation for climate resilience. Indeed, poorly designed adaptation interventions can exacerbate existing inequalities and increase the risk of conflict,” concludes Consoli.


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