BC3. Basque centre for climate change – Klima aldaketa ikergai

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Climate Change and Armed Conflicts African Observatory (CACAO): a georeferenced map of Africa

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Author(s): Federica Cappelli, Caterina Conigliani, Valeria Costantini, Keti Lelo, Anil Markandya, Elena Paglialunga and Giorgia Sforna

Date: 2018-09-03

Issue: 2018-02

  Download this working paper (2 MB.)


The paper develops a methodological approach to gather information on the role played by climate change in influencing armed conflicts in Africa. It builds a database to comprehensively map and analyse African countries through a geo-referenced representation of the climate, conflicts and socio- economic characteristics in a local rather than a country level analysis (110×110 km grid cells) over almost three decades, from 1990 to 2016. During this period, the African continent has been characterized by a high number of conflicts. The paper analyses the role played by climate change in affecting the conflicts dynamics, the risk of onset and magnitude, both in terms of number of registered events and fatalities. At the same time, as largely recognised in literature there are several other aspects that could aggravate (or offset) the local conditions, eventually degenerating in armed conflicts. Hence, the analysis also explores factors such as GDP, population, land use, water stress, natural resources, infrastructure availability and quality of institutions. Conflicts seem to mainly erupt in populated areas that are also rich of natural resources, but further analysis is needed in order to disentangle the role of the different drivers and to account for the spatial and temporal dependence.

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