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Four nations, Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan, have signed a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) over the sharing of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System. The aquifer lies beneath the four nations and is the largest known “fossil” or non-renewable system in the world. According to a press release by the International Atomic Energy Agency: (more…)
The Strauss Center’s Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program recently released a new online dashboard that allows users to assess climate and security vulnerability in Africa. According to their website:
“CCAPS climate dashboard, an online platform that displays data on physical, socio-economic, demographic, and political insecurities to assess how these factors contribute to “climate security” vulnerability in Africa.” (more…)
UN University is providing an extraordinary resource for those interested in the nexus of water, conflict and cooperation. Essentially, they have excavated 20-years’ worth of academic articles on the subject from beneath the journal pay-wall, complied them all in one place, and made them free to access through 2014. (more…)
The Toronto Star devoted an impressive amount of space this past weekend to articles exploring the role of climate change in the Arab world, before and after the trans-formative changes in the region. All three articles cite our recent multi-author volume, “The Arab Spring and Climate Change,” as well as other perspectives from social scientists. To read the full pieces, click on the links below.
The world is suddenly paying attention to the oft-ignored North African country of Mali, as it is racked by its most recent in a long string of crises: a coup d’etat. This political and constitutional crisis sits atop an already extremely vulnerable situation – a volatile mix of climate change, drought, food shortages, migration and immobility, armed insurrection and heavy weapons proliferation that threaten to plunge the country into a state of instability not unlike Somalia. As the international community, including the UN Security Council, moves to act on this crisis, it will be important to consider all the identifiable sources of Mali’s insecurity in order to get the solutions right. (more…)
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…)