Toward New Policies for the Climate Change and Violent Extremism Nexus in Africa

As part of the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre’s (OGC) initiative to further support advancement of the research agenda on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), the OGC partnered with the Regional PVE Project in Africa to assess Climate Change and Violent Extremism in Africa. The policy brief draws upon interviews and literature regarding climate security, violent extremism, and intrastate conflict in relation to evidence from cases in the Central Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin, Mozambique, and Somalia. It concludes that to the extent that grievances caused by climate change influence violent extremism, they are best assessed within a contextualized analytical framework that also incorporates the impact of climate change on the viability of violent extremist groups, and improvements can be made in taking an integrated approach to conflict analyses, policymaking, and programming. Climate change is real, and there may be long-term risks in relation to violent extremism in Africa, but we need to know more about how these connections work in order to have a more strategic and informed engagement. Finally, the policy brief offers ten recommendations to national governments and development actors, PVE practitioners, military and security forces, UN peace operations, and researchers to better inform project and policy design and implementation.