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New Research: Local Food Price Spikes Increase Likelihood of Unrest

 

Protesters marching in Cairo, "Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

Protesters marching in Cairo, “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice By, Mariam Soliman from Cairo, Egypt

This is a cross-post by Todd G. Smith via New Security Beat (see the original post for some great questions in the comments section).

From the Roman poet Juvenal’s observations about bread and circuses to Marie Antoinette’s proclamation, “let them eat cake!” the link between food and political stability is well established in pop culture. In academic and policy circles, however, it’s a source of considerable debate.

Since 2008, when the FAO Food Price Index spiked to previously unseen levels, reports of so-called “food riots” have become common. In 2011, researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) released a short paper presenting a compelling correlation between spikes in the FAO Food Price Index in 2008 (and again in 2011) and media reports of food riots across the Middle East and North Africa. (more…)

Creating Climate-Secure Water-Sharing Treaties

Sudan_Nile_agriculture_LandsatIn light of the recent news of armed bandits demanding water in India, and on-going water tension in Iraq and Syria, we are cross-posting the below post from Thomas Currant at the New Security Beat titled “Climate Change Will Test Water-Sharing Agreements.” The post looks at a working paper by a group of researchers at the World Bank, “Climate Change, Conflict, and Cooperation: Global Analysis of the Resilience of International River Treaties to Increased Water Variability.”  Neil Bhatiya, with The Century Foundation, also wrote a good summary of the working paper, “Designing an Ideal Water-Sharing Treaty.”  (more…)

New Security Beat: A Look at European Militaries and Climate Change

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program has posted an interview with Tobias Feakin, senior research fellow at the UK Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI).  Feakin described the UK’s well-developed climate and security dialogue at the highest levels of government, as well as the evolving discussion among other European nations. RUSI’s work in this space is pioneering, and worth paying attention to. You can watch the video and read the transcript here.

A Look at USAID’s New Climate Strategy

This is a cross-post from the New Security Beat

USAID’s New Climate Strategy Outlines Adaptation, Mitigation Priorities, Places Heavy Emphasis on Integration
By Kathleen Mogelgaard for the Wilson Center

In January, the U.S. Agency for International Development released its long-awaited climate change strategy. Climate Change & Development: Clean Resilient Growth provides a blueprint for addressing climate change through development assistance programs and operations. In addition to objectives around mitigation and adaptation, the strategy also outlines a third objective: improving overall operational integration.

(more…)

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