• Martha Maria Angelopoulou

Food insecurity can raise conflict concerns

The Horn of Africa, happens to be a characteristic example of geopolitical changes that emerge due to climate change and food insecurity – changes that threaten to destabilize already vulnerable regions in the area.


The stresses on natural resources, arable land and water access can increase the chances of conflicts and lead in security risks – risks that can be smoothed out by four simple moves: Predict, value, prepare and act. The Horn of Africa, happens to be a characteristic example of geopolitical changes that emerge due to climate change and food insecurity – changes that threaten to destabilize already vulnerable regions in the area. According to The Center for Climate and Security, urbanization is occurring rapidly in the Horn of Africa, including the areas along the coast. Coastal cities with burgeoning populations, like Mogadishu (Somalia), Djibouti City and Mombasa (Kenya) are vulnerable to sea-level rise.

Rising sea levels threaten to inundate critical infrastructure in these cities, contaminate freshwater supplies through saltwater intrusion, reduce arable land, and potentially displace large numbers of people.

In addition, ocean acidification and warming are contributing to the migration and depletion of fish stocks around the world, including along the coast of the Horn of Africa – though the lack of extensive monitoring in this region means there is a gap in the knowledge of the extent of the impacts. Changing ocean chemistry and temperatures can increase the likelihood of international tensions between countries and subnational actors of the Horn that share a coastline – including a heightened potential for conflict over fishing, as their respective fishing fleets roam into neighbouring waters, or compete over dwindling stocks in international waters.

And these are just two examples of how inextricably linked climate change, food insecurity and chances of conflicts are. If you want to find out more examples, just read the whole article here.

Photo: Jeff Ackley via Unsplash

#foodinsecurity #climatechange #beaware #africa

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