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Climate change and conflict: lessons for conflict resolution from the Southern Sahel of Sudan

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Using a human security perspective, this report identifies and analyses local and international non-governmental organisation (NGO) interventions in cases of conflicts related to the environment and environmental change in the southern Sahel of Sudan. The research largely focused on conflicts between and within pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and farmer communities in the context of these same challenges – making the argument and then building on the premise that the study area is relevant from which to draw lessons for climate adaption. The study provides practical lessons and academic insights on resolving environment-related conflicts in Sudan and conflict-sensitive climate change adaptation for policy makers, practitioners and academics.

The report argues that in light of their wide applicability, human security approaches may be appropriate for the study of environment-related conflict, and to develop interventions for conflict-sensitive climate change adaptation. Previous framings of the human security approach were problematic and have not been truly workable in a research and policy environment. The report finds that if the concept can be sufficiently narrowed, without losing its focus on broader forms of security and the focus on the ‘freedom from fear and want’, it may be applicable to and workable for Africa, and to address conflicts related to the environment.