Climate Change and Violent Conflict in East Africa: Implications for Policy

A Maasai man in the eastern Serengeti

Conflict rarely stems from climate change alone, but the phenomenon is increasingly a contributor to conflict in vulnerable regions and states. In Africa, climate change tends to worsen livelihoods, fuel migration, change pastoral mobility patterns, change tactical considerations of criminals or armed groups, and lead to exploitation by elites of fluctuating resource supplies. Without adequate governance and security provision, these effects can all snowball into sustained violent conflict. Practical policy steps to interrupt such scenarios include weather insurance for farmers, formal regulations on rotating pastures for pastoralists, more migration assistance, and strengthened conflict resolution mechanisms.

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Security Topics:  Environment and Security