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Improving adaptive capacity to climate change through conflict resolution: lessons from Ethiopia
In recent decades, arid and semi-arid rangelands in the Horn of Africa have experienced the effects of two related threats: 1) increasingly frequent and severe droughts amplified by climate change, and 2) outbreaks of conflict among pastoralist groups whose access to natural resources has been squeezed by population growth, land development, administrative boundaries, rangeland degradation, and erratic and extreme weather. Development practitioners are giving increasing attention to the idea that collaborative community activities, focused on building key institutional relationships, may contribute to conflict prevention, and that lower levels of conflict can provide the opportunity to enhance the scope and quality of climate adaptation.
The January 18th Adaptation Community Meeting will feature Jeff Stark, a conflict and climate change specialist, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of addressing the climate-conflict nexus in programming. Mr. Stark will specifically speak to lessons learned from a recent assessment he conducted of the USAID-funded Peace Centers for Climate and Social Resilience (PCCSR) pilot project. This project, which ran from 2014 to 2017, endeavored to reverse patterns of pastoral conflict over natural resources in several districts in southern Ethiopia.
More about the speaker:
Jeffrey Stark is an expert on issues of governance and environment and has written extensively on the subject of climate change and conflict across Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Mr. Stark served as the director of research and studies at the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability (FESS), where he led several environmental security assessments. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Stark was a visiting professor at the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. He previously taught political science at St. Thomas University in Miami and served as a program officer in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency in New York City.
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