Climate, community, conflict & resilience

For the past two and half years, International Alert has been conducting field research in four South Asian countries on vulnerability to the effects of climate change, possibilities for adaptation, obstacles and how to overcome them. What shines out of these studies is the need for policies that integrate responses to climate and conflict challenges into developing a broadly based quality of resilience – in local communities and on the national stage.

The reports based on this research were launched on Monday 8 July at an experts’ roundtable in Kathmandu.

The research is based on four sets of case studies. These have looked at the double threat of climate change and insecurity, and at both the sources of resilience and the underlying obstacles to building local and national resilience in each country. Overall, the reports explore the level of risk arising from the impact of climate change at village and district level and the degree of resilience that the communities have.

This was local level research, looking at places that face issues and challenges specific to their own particular circumstances. Even so, the research team has identified commonalities between them so that the work of removing the barriers to building resilience can be clustered  addressed under five general headings:

  1. Strong, accountable, participatory and effective local governance;
  2. Equitable management of and access to natural resources;
  3. Support for climate-sensitive alternative livelihood opportunities;
  4. Fair access to credit; and
  5. Peaceful and safe migration pathways.

To see the research and analysis that took us to that position (summarised, by the way, in the 4-minute video embedded in my post of 5 July), simply click

  • Here for the summary of all four studies and the project as a whole;
  • Here for the study on Bangladesh;
  • Here for the study on India;
  • Here for the study on Nepal; and
  • Here for the study on Pakistan.

NB Research was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), both of which get International Alert’s deep appreciation for the financial support, and neither of which is responsible for views expressed in these publications. As normal, opinions and conclusions in the reports are solely those of International Alert.

2 responses to “Climate, community, conflict & resilience

  1. The South Asian region is currently one of the most water-pressed areas in the entire world. That, coupled with a quickly multiplying population (it is reported that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh together constitute 1/5th of the world’s population) makes climate change and its inevitable consequences turn it into a ticking time bomb. If any wars for water will be fought, they will be fought here. It’s commendable to see the issue being highlighted!

  2. Somehow we have got to do many things differently, do them much more ably, and do all of them simultaneously, collaboratively, better and fast. Ready or not, like it or not, we are presented with a planetary emergency.This is the time for making necessary behavioral changes by thinking globally and acting locally. Science and common sense will give us direction. What we cannot do is sit on the sidelines. No, we cannot afford to sit this one out. All hand are needed on the deck at this critical moment in the history of our planetary home. Our generation is simply not stepping up to the challenges before us. The consequences of our failures appear colossal and profound with regard to the prospects for future human well being and environmental health. The very last thing a responsible person is to do in such circumstances is consciously and deliberately choose to remain silent, I believe. Are we not participants in and witnesses to yet another preposterous failure of nerve? When are the leaders going to speak out in an intellectually honest way and act with a sense of moral courage? How terrible are things going to have to become on Earth before the-powers-that-be begin to talk about and do the right things, according to the lights and best available knowledge they possess? Whatsoever is real and true must be acknowledged if we are to respond ably to climate destabilization, pollution, biodiversity loss, resource dissipation, environmental degradation and overpopulation,but the manufactured ‘nothing is wrong’ reality is well-established and those who speak truth to power are consistently marginalized and ignored. It is difficult even to imagine how much can be done in such unfavorable circumstances. Still our efforts are vital because the-powers-that-be are living in a fool’s paradise, and the stakes are such that the things that are not being acknowledged will likely destroy life as we know it on Earth. We know how to stop overpopulation humanely.The gravity of this and other looming human-driven global threats are understood and could be confronted with a long overdue determination to do what is necessary. All of the world’s human resources, including overrated intelligence and technology, need to be deployed in order to overcome the emerging and converging wicked problems looming ominously on the horizon.The-powers-that-be could save the world if they acted with the intellectual honesty, moral courage and power they possess to sound alarm bells, forcefully warn the world, and call out loudly and clearly for changes toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate enterprises. But most of the necessary changes are unlikely to happen, The-powers-that-be want to maintain the status quo, come what may. They lack the moral courage and the imagination to save the world we are blessed to inhabit as a fit place for habitation by children everywhere and coming generations.

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