Senior Researcher Salome Bronkhorst was invited by the German Federal Foreign Office and Adelphi to attend an international conference titled Climate Diplomacy in Perspective – from Early Warning to Early Action on the security implication of climate change. The conference, which was held on 10 and 11 October in Berlin, Germany and followed on a discussion at the United Nations Security Council in July 2011 on the implications of climate change for security, included working group sessions on food security, water security and coastal stability.
Salome Bronkhorst chairing a working group session on food security
Ms Bronkhorst chaired the session on food security. Key issues addressed by the working group session included risks for peace and stability emanating from climate impacts on food security and the nature of cooperative arrangements that will be needed to prevent and mitigate conflicts. In particular, the session also focused on how climate diplomacy could contribute to mitigate climate induced security risks.
Food security and the nature of livelihoods (or how people make a living) in Africa are crucial issues emerging from ACCORD's other work and publications on the linkages between the climate, environment and conflict on the continent. Climate diplomacy, including second track diplomatic efforts, undertaken by civil society and other actors, will be crucial to ensure that the threats and opportunities created by climate change are addressed holistically. To this end, a number of issues should be considered and emerged as key questions from ACCORD's participation in the conference: the nature of institutional reforms needed to address climate change, especially in regards to conflict and food security; the types of cooperative arrangements that should be put in place; how to deal with the multi-disciplinary nature of climate threats, especially in ways that bring together track one and two diplomatic efforts; and finally, how to create incentives for cooperation between civil society, national governments and the corporate sector. These are questions that will – and should – occupy all actors working to prevent and address climate-related conflicts in Africa.