Climate Change and Confilct

Coping with Climate Change as a Cause of Conflict in Coastal Communities of West Africa

Academic Associates PeaceWorks (AAPW) is implementing the above named  project with three other consortium partners: Fondazione Accademia Italiana della Marina Mercantile (The Ìtalian Maritime Academy FAIMM based in Genoa, Italy), Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF based in Benin City, Nigeria), and West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP based in Accra, Ghana) with support from the European Union (EU). The aim of the project is to strengthen West African Coastal Communities’ ability to cope with climate change and conflict by developing innovative tools related to conflict sensitive climate change (CC) adaptation and prevention of environmental crimes that exacerbate climate change impact on communities, as well as monitoring of the impact of climate change as a driver of conflict.

To achieve this, the project has identified 10 coastal communities in 5 coastal states of the Niger Delta prone to the negative aspects of climate change, listed below.  An extensive research (see full and abridged copies of the report here) has been undertaken by HOMEF, involving some AAPW staff and other researchers in May- July 2022.  During March/April and June/July 2022, AAPW conducted community entry visits to the 10 communities (see the Community Entry reports).

  Akwa Ibom StateIbenoInua Eyet Ikot in IbenoJune 30-July 2
Eastern OboloOkoroete & IkoJuly 3-6
    Bayelsa StateBrassAkassaApril 3-6
NembeAgbakabiriyai, Etieama and IgbetaewoamaMarch 31-April 3
  Cross River StateOdukpaniCreek TownJune 24-26
AkpabuyoEsuk MbaJune 20-22
  Delta StateBurutuOgulaghaMarch 24-27
Warri SouthUgborodoMarch 28-30
  Rivers StateBonnyFinimaApril 11-13
KhanaKonoJuly 20-22

AAPW and HOMEF staff returned to the communities in late September to present both the research and community entry reports to each community.  These visits will continue through October and November. From the research reports, the communities will identify their priority concerns and suggested lines of action to address climate change and prevent resultant conflict.

AAPW is establishing a Community Stakeholders Network in each of the 10 project communities in the Niger Delta (see the explanation of the CSN model which AAPW has been using for almost 20 years). The CSNs will then be trained to analyse climate and conflict issues, and deliver nature based innovative solutions to the CC challenges in the region, through a large-scale capacity building program, targeting communities and local actors. HOMEF will conduct similar meetings and establish CSNs in Togo and Senegal.  The CSNs will also report on indicators of climate change and conflict into the ECOWAS regional framework for Early Warning Early Response operated by WANEP. WANEP will also work on advocacy with regional governments to address climate change issues, while FAIMM updates security agents on these issues.

In view of the heavy flooding in Bayelsa, and parts of Delta and Rivers states, the C7 consortium is documenting ways that communities cope or do not cope well with rising flood waters in the region.

The C7 project started February 1, 2022 and will run for 3 years. Watch this website for updates.  Also check the sites of other consortium partners

WANEP’s Technical Brief