UN Security Council convoy drives through the streets of Mopti, Northern Mali.

The Links Between Climate and Security in the Sahel

The Sahel region of Africa is routinely cited by the United Nations as one of the regions in the world that is most vulnerable to climate change. Many of the trends around climate change, like droughts and flooding, are felt more acutely by people in this region than anywhere else in the world. It is also a region with some profound security challenges, including political instability, armed conflict and insurgencies, extreme poverty and high levels of food insecurity.

The international community has long sought to support peace and security in the region, but the results are mixed. One of the UN’s larger peacekeeping missions is currently deployed to Mali and France is supporting a five country counter-terrorism force known as the G-5 Sahel.  Yet despite these efforts, the security conditions across the region are tenuous.

According to the OECD, with the exception of Senegal, every country in this region is considered either fragile or extremely fragile.

This special Global Dispatches podcast episode features a diverse array of participants who bridge discussions about climate and security in the Sahel that too often happen independent of each other.  The panelists tackle questions around climate and security by drawing on perspectives of experts who do not always find themselves in the same room. The goal of this episode is to connect experts working on climate change, food systems and security, so they can potentially bring some new ideas to the table and perhaps chart some innovative solutions to the myriad of challenges facing the region.

This episode is part of a series of episodes examining the relationship between climate and security, produced in partnership with CGIAR, the world’s largest global agricultural innovation network. This episode was taped live in front of a virtual audience and featured five panelists discussing the intersection of climate and security in the Sahel region of Africa.

Her Excellency, Ms. Rigmor Elianne Koti, is Norway’s Special Representative for the Sahel.

Dr. Rober Zougmoré, is the Africa Program Leader, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

Dr. Bruno Charbonneau, is the Director, Centre FrancoPaix in Conflict Resolution and Peace Mission  and professor of international studies at the the Royal Military College in Canada

Dr. Catherine-Lune Grayson Senior Policy Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross  

Ornella Moderan who is head of the Sahel Program at the Institute for Security Studies. 

The Sahel region of Africa is one of the regions of the world that is most impacted by climate change. It is also a region beset by instability, insecurity and conflict. This episode unpacks some of these complex linkages.

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