Though we’re a little late on this, the National Intelligence Council’s blog “Global Trends 2030” posted an interesting piece by CNAS senior fellow Dr. Nancy Brune titled “Urbanization, Security and Resiliency.” Among other topics, Dr. Brune discussed the role of climate change and other environmental stresses in driving rural-urban migration, and what that means for security:
Researchers note that, traditionally, the largest drivers of urbanization are primarily natural disasters (and increasingly ecological degradation). War and conflict have also caused populations to flee into urban areas. Climate change and the increasing desertification of once-arable lands have also fueled rural to urban movements in recent years, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As we have noted previously, climatic, environmental and social pressures – in particular drought, desertification and poor governance – have also led to massive rural-urban migrations in parts of the Middle East, such as Syria, a phenomenon that has had measurable social consequences.
This subject certainly deserves more attention than it gets, and we recommend reading Dr. Brune’s entire piece.