Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Will climate change cause water conflict?

13.12.2012
The CLICO Project shares its conclusions with the public

International researchers from 14 institutions met in Nicosia (Cyprus) on the 10th and 11th of December to present and debate the results of studies on water, conflict and security conducted in the past three years in a variety of locations in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Sahel under the CLICO research project.

The CLICO project explored the social dimensions of climate change and in particular, conflicts related to water, and the threats this may pose for national and human security. The project was led by the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and financed by the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Theme of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme.

The effects of climate change on water are expected to intensify in the Mediterranean and surrounding regions in the coming years. This raises potential threats to the security of populations, particularly those most vulnerable to droughts or floods. Prominent people have talked about the danger of "water wars" and about climate change as a threat to national security. The results of the CLICO project, however, found that such discourses oversimplify a complex reality. Climate and water resource changes are important, but play only a secondary role – at least for the time being – in the causation of conflict and insecurity compared to political, economic and social factors. According to the research, countries with good institutions are unlikely to experience violence because of water, and populations in countries with strong welfare and civil security systems will suffer much less from climate disasters, compared to those in countries without.

CLICO's final conference in Cyprus, which was held at the same time as the high-profile EWACC 2012 (Energy, Water and Climate Change) conference, presented the project's results, established policy recommendations to raise the security of populations and proposed new ideas on public policies and institutional arrangements needed to promote peace and security under changing climate and water conditions. Among other aspects, the meeting served to debate the relation between droughts, floods and sea level rise and social conflict, the role of institutions and international agreements and adaptation policies for human security.

The CLICO studies found that political stability and the welfare state reduce the likelihood of social conflict. The vulnerability of populations stems from deeper causes which precede disaster events, such as poverty, lack of access to education, and corruption in political and administrative institutions. CLICO researchers found that development reduces violent domestic conflicts over water, though in some cases, such as with the expansion of large-scale agriculture, it might also be a source of social tensions and conflicts.

A key conclusion is that political discourses must not reiterate simplistic models which link climate change directly to social conflict and insecurity: a better distribution of wealth, greater social protection, universal access to justice and higher levels of democracy can largely help to improve human security and reduce outbreaks of social conflict.

CLICO also warns about the weakening of social protection and support systems in cases of natural disasters in northern Mediterranean regions due to the economic crisis, and strongly advices reversing this tendency in order to improve human security.

The policy analysis of CLICO highlights the need for institutional collaboration and integration of climate change adaptation policies into already existing structures, such as those related to human development and poverty reduction. A review of existing policies in a number of countries found that good policies already exist, but they are not implemented.

Moreover, in many cases the knowledge and experience of the populations affected by water phenomena is not taken adequately into account, and as a result government policies end up being counterproductive. A greater social participation would need to go hand-in-hand with social and economic policies to empower vulnerable groups to have a meaningful role in participatory processes.

About CLICO
The CLICO Project (Climate Change, Hydo-Conflicts and Human Security), was financed by the EU with approximately 3 million Euros. It began in January 2010 with the aim of filling a research gap as regards cause-effect relations between climate change, hydrology, social conflict and cooperation, and the security of affected populations.

The project has worked on:
An exhaustive statistic analysis – the first of its kind – of the relations between climate, water, socio-economic variables and conflict and cooperation in 35 countries in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the Sahel.
In-depth studies of the links between hydro-climatic changes, vulnerability, adaptation and security in eleven cases: the island of Cyprus, the Andalusia-Morocco biosphere, Niger, Alexandria, Sudan, the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), the Ebro Delta and the basins of the rivers Sarno (Italy), Seyhan (Turkey), Jordan (Israel-Palestine-Jordan) and Nile (Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia).
Analysis of institutional policies and agreements in matters of security and climate change adaptation at national, transboundary and international levels.

Participating Institutions
Institute of Environmental Science & Technology (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain (project coordinator)

United Nations University. Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, United Kingdon

ECOLOGIC GmbH Institut für Internationale und Europäische Umweltpolitik, Germany

Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW), International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), Norway

Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Suez Canal University, Egypt
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland
The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus
School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water and Environmental Resources Development
Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals (CREAF), Barcelona, Spain
Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO), Brussels, Belgium
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
CLICO's final conference programme:
http://ewacc2012.cyi.ac.cy/?page_id=567
CLICO website
www.clico.org

Maria Jesus Delgado | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uab.cat
http://www.clico.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>