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Taking Action on Compound Climate-Fragility Risks

USAID_The Nexus of Fragility and Climate Risks_2019By Ashley Moran and Josh Busby

Fragile states face substantial and growing risks from climate change. Our recent study for USAID sought to identify precisely where and how these climate and fragility risks intersect around the world. In new briefs from USAID, we highlight the key findings and implications for policymakers.

Our Policy Summary: The Nexus of Fragility and Climate Risks notes key takeaways for policymakers at the global level. Notably: (more…)

Climate Change, State Fragility and the New CHIRPS Dataset

Syria migration

Reuters/Rodi Said

By Dr. Colin Kelley, Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Climate and Security

In order to better understand the nexus linking climate change and state fragility, we need to better grasp the effects of climatic changes, particularly in rainfall and temperature, at the regional, national and subnational levels, and what they mean for resource availability.  Enter a new data product called CHIRPS.

The USAID Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), in conjunction with scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara, recently developed a new precipitation dataset in support of drought monitoring called CHIRPS (Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data). CHIRPS has already been utilized successfully for this purpose, but also has other far reaching implications that will be important for better understanding of subnational to global security dynamics. These include an improved characterization of resilience in regions and states that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and variability. (more…)

USAID and DOD Ongoing Cooperation on Flood Relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina

2014 floods in Doboj, Bosnia, May 2014. Photo by, Dalibor Platenik - Dali

2014 floods in Doboj, Bosnia, May 2014. Photo by, Dalibor Platenik – Dali

In May of 2014, catastrophic floods hit Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), as well as Serbia and parts of Croatia. As of May 28, the floods were reported to have left 33 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. Crops, livestock and landmines were swept away, leading to significant economic and financial losses (estimated losses of 1.3 billion euros in Bosnia alone). At the time, we wrote about the flooding event as a possible opportunity to build better relations and resiliency throughout the region. This November, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Defense (DOD) have reported out on their ongoing cooperation with the relief effort:  (more…)

New Executive Order: Climate, Development and Security

SouthPorticoPresident Obama unveiled a new Executive Order on “Climate-Resilient International Development” yesterday, which aims to climate-proof U.S. development assistance to ensure that developing countries can cope with the effects of a changing climate. The EO includes a description of the kinds of climate impacts that can effect development, including references to the heightened probability of conflict (both within and between nations).

From Section 1, Policy:

The adverse impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, increases in temperatures, more frequent extreme precipitation and heat events, more severe droughts, and increased wildfire activity, along with other impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, such as ocean acidification, threaten to roll back decades of progress in reducing poverty and improving economic growth in vulnerable countries, compromise the effectiveness and resilience of U.S. development assistance, degrade security, and risk intranational and international conflict over resources.

(more…)

Sec. Hagel: Climate Change and Realizing the Asia-Pacific Rebalance

130529-D-BW835-174Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is currently in the middle of a tour meeting with 13 defense ministers from across the Asia-Pacific region. Part of the message he will be bringing with him involves the role that climate change plays in the security of the region. Just yesterday, military and defense leaders from our Advisory Board applauded Sec. Hagel for his attention to climate change at the ASEAN defense ministers meeting. (more…)

Tune In: Water, Conflict and Peacebuilding Toolkit Launch

Water_distribution_in_Horn_of_AfricaThis afternoon from 3pm-5pm EST, the Woodrow Wilson Center will be launching a new toolkit on water, conflict and peacebuilding. The event will be webcast, so be sure to tune in for what is sure to be an interesting discussion (bringing much-needed nuance to the “water war” headlines). Below are the details for the event. (more…)

Typhoon Haiyan, Climate Change and Security in the Asia-Pacific

Typhoon_Haiyan_2013_making_landfallTyphoon Haiyan (or Yolanda as it is known locally) slammed into the Philippines on November 7th. According to the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, it was “thought to be the strongest storm to ever make landfall anywhere in the world in modern records.” The typhoon wreaked havoc on a disastrous scale, affecting over four million people and killing as many as 10,000 to date.  Some have asked whether or not it is necessary to create a new category of storm to capture the magnitude of the typhoon, much as Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology recently created the category of “deep purple” to account for unprecedented highs in temperature. (more…)