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article imageReport: Terrorists are using climate change as a 'weapon of war'

By Karen Graham     Apr 22, 2017 in World
According to a report commissioned by the German Department for Foreign Affairs, climate change impacts and threats are being used as a weapon of war.
According to Deutsche Welle, the report used four case studies that included Syria, Afghanistan, the Lake Chad region, and Guatemala in presenting their case. The report showed how climate change can exacerbate instability and conflict, contributing to the rise of terrorist groups, such as Boko Haram or the "Islamic State."
The report points out that climate change does not have a "linear impact" on a country or region's fragility or propensity to violent conflict, but instead, it acts as a threat multiplier. In countries where there are already existing risks, such as population growth, environmental damage, or socio-economic inequalities, climate change will heighten and intensify those problems.
Chad is one of several countries battling the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency  which has driven thous...
Chad is one of several countries battling the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency, which has driven thousands from their homes and plunged areas into hunger and poverty
Co-author Lukas Rüttinger, in discussing the report says that climate change can be a "threat multiplier," meaning that it "interacts with other pressures on societies and states and increases existing risks of fragility and conflict. It can exacerbate livelihood insecurity, for example, and contribute to conflicts around natural resources such as water and land."
The scarcity of necessary resources, like clean drinking water, land, and food are very powerful tools that can be used by insurgent groups in recruiting members, especially when there is the promise of alternative livelihoods and economic incentives. The report points out that climate change increases the difficulty of trying to deal with security risks because so many environmental factors interact with social, political and economic factors.
The study also says there is much the global community can do to mitigate the impacts of climate change in those countries or regions suffering from instability and conflicts. It goes on to say that effective foreign policy commitments can work in making those countries and regions more resilient if they can effectively link climate change adaptation to development and humanitarian aid, as well as peace-building and conflict prevention."
More about Climate change, weapon of war, Instability, scarce resources, threat multiplier
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