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Update: UT Austin Conference on Shifting Conflict Patterns in Africa

Water_distribution_in_Horn_of_AfricaThis coming April 15 & 16 at the University of Texas, Austin there will be a very interesting conference looking at shifting conflict patterns in Africa, and drivers of instability and cooperation.  The conference is co-hosted by the African Center for Strategic Studies, Climate Change and African Political Stability Program (CCAPS), the U.S. Africa Command, and the U.S. Army War College Fellowship.  The conference includes a very impressive lineup of speakers and an extensive look at factors both within and beyond the region that contribute to conflict and cooperation.  From the CCAPS website: (more…)

European Commission: “Climate Change Impacts on Water and Security in Southern Europe and neighbouring regions”

The European Commission has released a report highlighting its collaborative research “cluster” on water and security in Southern Europe and surrounding regions, an area already suffering the effects of climate change (not to mention dire future predictions). The EU has identified climate and water security in Southern Europe as a thematic priority, stating: (more…)

Building a New Libya in a New Climate: Water as a Key to Cooperation

This blog also appeared on the humanitarian news site, AlertNet

Libya Hurra. Free Libya. This was one of the main rallying cries for the Libyan opposition last year, which with NATO assistance, toppled the brutal 40-year reign of Muammar Gaddafi. But four and a half months after Gaddafi’s downfall, Libya under the leadership of the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) is facing the problem of reconciling the many different “free Libyas” envisioned by different publics, and addressing allegations of some “not-so-free” practices. The eastern region of Cyrenaica, with its capital at Benghazi (the heart of the anti-Gaddafi movement) has declared itself a semi-autonomous region, prompting major protests in both Benghazi and Tripoli. Despite recent successes by the central government, armed militias still roam the country, and the capacity of the government in Tripoli to keep them in check has been questioned. Indeed, the city of Misrata has been described as a virtual “armed city-state” in opposition to the central government. Furthermore, reports of human rights abuses committed against suspected Gaddafi sympathizers, including black African migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, abound.

But while the Libyan government currently seeks in earnest to address these conflicts, it may be less overtly political issues, such as climate change and water resource management, that hold the key to building unity. (more…)