Africa is projected to suffer the greatest effects of global warming of any region in the world. More and longer-lasting heat waves, drought, flooding, and hurricanes have already impacted millions of Africans and disrupted livelihoods.
These disruptions and the resulting decreased viability of arable land are reshaping Africa’s security environment. Of particular concern for efforts to combat climate change are threats from land pressure and illegal logging in the Congo Basin, the world’s second most important carbon sink.
This public roundtable assessed the range of climate-related security pressures on the continent and the importance of incorporating environmental security into African security policy.
- Dr. François Engelbrecht
Climate scientist, University of Witwatersrand’s Global Change Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Mr. Andrew Mambondiyani
Freelance contributor on climate change and climate refugees in Africa for the Thompson Reuters Foundation
- Dr. Ebimboere Seiyefa
Lecturer, Baze University, Abuja, Nigeria, examining links between climate change and organized criminal groups
- Dr. Oluwole Ojewole
ENACT Coordinator for Central Africa Organized Crime Observatory, assessing priorities for protecting the Congo Basin
- Dr. Joseph Siegle
Director of Research, Africa Center for Strategic Studies
- “Global and Regional Tipping Points in a Changing Climate” slides shown by Dr. Francois Engelbrecht, Director and Professor of Climatology, Global Change Institute, University of Witwatersrand
- “Climate Change and Security in Africa” slides shown during panelists’ remarks.
Reports Shared during Roundtable:
- Africa Center for Strategic Studies, “How Global Warming Threatens Human Security in Africa,” Infographic, October 29, 2021.
- Francois A. Engelbrecht, Pedro M.S. Monteiro, “The IPCC Assessment Report Six Working Group 1 report and southern Africa: Reasons to take action,” South African Journal of Science 117, no. 11-12 (2021).
- Ebimboere Seiyefa, “How climate change impacts on regional security in West Africa: Exploring the link to organized crime,“ African Security Review 28 (2019).
- Andrew Mambondiyani, “Zimbabwe’s climate migration is a sign of what’s to come,” MIT-Technology Review, December 17, 2021.
- Lee J. T. White, Eve Bazaiba Masudi, Jules Doret Ndongo, Rosalie Matondo, et al., “Congo Basin rainforest — invest US$150 million in science,” Nature, October 20, 2021.
- Viviane Clement, Kanta Kumari Rigaud Alex de Sherbinin, Bryan Jones, et al., “Groundswell Part 2: Acting on Internal Climate Migration,” World Bank, 2021.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” UN, 2021.
- Francois Engelbrecht, Jimmy Adegoke, Mary-Jane Bopape, Mogesh Naidoo, et al., “Projections of rapidly rising surface temperatures over Africa under low mitigation,” Environmental Research Letters 10, no. 8 (2015).
- Leif Brottem, “The Growing Complexity of Farmer-Herder Conflict in West and Central Africa,” Africa Security Brief No. 39, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, July 2021.
- Oluwole Ojewole, “Nigeria and Cameroon must confront timber trafficking together,” Institute for Security Studies, July 15, 2021.