Climate Change and Environmental Security Impacts in the World and Africa

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Our world is experiencing an ecological crisis which creates environmental degradations, thus increasingly threatening both in the security dimension of states and in the living spaces of communities. In order to tackle with this catastrophic issue, four years ago, the international community, together with the 193 countries adopted...

Our world is experiencing an ecological crisis which creates environmental degradations, thus increasingly threatening both in the security dimension of states and in the living spaces of communities. In order to tackle with this catastrophic issue, four years ago, the international community, together with the 193 countries adopted a new 2030 agenda which is a bold, ambitious, and historic agenda to promote prosperity and well-being while protecting the environment by 2030. Also known as a plan for people and planet, these goals focus on the three dimensions of sustainable development economic, social and environmental. Why this agenda is adopted? Because of climate change, our future and humanity are in danger of extinction.

Ironically, the actions of the most developed countries are the factors that cause climate change the most, while the countries most affected by the impact of climate change are the least developed countries. Especially, Africa, as a continent with a relatively large number of small states and poor economies, is highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continent’s vulnerability arises from a combination of factors, including extreme poverty, high rate population increase, lack of democracy, frequent natural disasters such as droughts, floods, desertification, land degradation and agricultural system.

The fact that there are too many ethnic and religious groups in Africa and all have different colonial backgrounds makes it difficult to read the dynamics of the African countries and indeed the African continent as a whole. In particular, the conflicts and terrorist activities on the continent are explained by ethnic and religious arguments. However, this continent has serious environmental security problems which can be a source, trigger or accelerator of these conflicts.

A case study will be presented as an example of the link between climate crisis and conflicts, the case of Chad Lake and Boko Haram.

Key Words: Climate Change, Environmental Security, Nuanced Impact in Africa, 2030 Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals


Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals

Climate Change which is probably the biggest human-induced extinction threat to our world is a serious warning for all of us. Especially, today we are witnessing deeper and numerous environmental crises such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, droughts, and floods. These environmental degradations are increasingly threatening both in the security dimension of our states and in the living spaces of our communities. Ironically, the Latest Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that 95 per cent certain that humans are the main cause of current environmental crisis and related security issues.

In order to tackle with this catastrophic issue, four years ago, the internationalcommunity, together with the world’s leaders adopted a new 2030 agenda, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals which is called SDGs. These goals are so diverse but at the same time interconnected goals such as ending poverty, reducing inequalities, achieving healthcare for all and promoting peace and justice. Furthermore, they must be reached by 2030. Otherwise, climate change effects will be inevitable, which all of them need immediate climate action before it is too late. To put it another way, what we will do in next ten years will determine our situation for 100 years.

While countries recommended that the SDGs take a forward-looking approach, they also suggested that the new goals be based on experiences from current international goals and targets. With that in mind, it has been observed that particularly successful goals are

• built on general support from society and a scientific consensus regarding the urgency of the problem;

• embedded in effective institutional and political frameworks and governance regimes that ensure implementation and compliance;

• made easier to implement because of the availability of solutions;

• linked to specific and measurable targets.

As can be seen, the idea of sustainable development, reflected in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the world’s governments in 2015, is to move beyond traditional indicators such as GDP growth and per capita income, to a much richer set of objectives, including social fairness, trust, and environmental sustainability. The SDGs, for example, draw specific attention not only to income inequality (SDG 10), but also to broader measures of wellbeing (SDG 3).Also, these goals have three fundamental objectives: Economic Progress, Social Justice, and Environmental Sustainability. All three of them should be equally successful because economic growth without fairness and environmental sustainability is a recipe for disorder, not wellbeing. We are witnessing this disorder in the protests in the today’s rich cities such as New York, Paris, San Diego caused by the new unfair tax regulations on public transportation.

Additionally, environmental security issues are not only related to protests, it would also be a source, trigger or accelerator of conflicts as well. Especially, since the late 1980s and early 1990s, the literature assessing links between environment insecurity and conflict in particular has expanded rapidly. In this regard, this essay will look at environmental stressors such as scarcity, natural resource richness, environmental refugees and extreme heat and also and we will examine a case study from Nigeria, The Case of Chad Lake and Boko Haram and its link between environmental scarcity and violent conflict.

It is taken from TASAM Publishing's book named “New World Architecture Of Economy and Security“
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