Tackling the threat multiplier: Addressing the role of climate change in conflict dynamics

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Competition for natural resources, including water, land, and forests, have long been recognized as a source of contention, and sometimes even violence. Macro trends like population growth and climate change can exacerbate these issues, particularly in areas of scarcity. Population growth puts more pressure on limited resources, while climate change impacts resource availability and quality. Climate change is recognized as a threat multiplier that aggravates non-climate stressors such as population growth, poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions. As such, there is a critical need to understand and address the climate-drivers of conflict. 

At the September Adaptation Community Meeting, Eliot Levine, Director of the Environment Technical Support Unit at Mercy Corps, will discuss the pathways by which climate change can lead to greater risks of conflict, and discuss Mercy Corps’ strategic approach to addressing the climate drivers of conflict. Joining him will be Maurice Amollo, a Mercy Corps Chief of Party in Nigeria. Mr. Amollo will present a case study of the USAID-funded PEACE III program, a cross-border conflict management initiative in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda which supported communities’ resilience to climate shocks, while expanding understanding on the links between climate change and conflict, and building an evidence base of effective peacebuilding approaches.

A live webinar of the event will be available here.

About the Speakers:

Eliot Levine is a climate change and environment expert with 19 years of experience in international development and conservation. He is currently the Director of Mercy Corps Environment Technical support Unit, leading a team of  technical advisers providing strategic support to Mercy Corps’ global program portfolio as related to climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, low carbon development, natural resource management and WASH. Prior to Mercy Corps, Eliot spent 8 years working at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a Sr. Climate Adaptation Adviser. In this role he worked directly with WWF’s country and field teams to increase their capacity to integrate climate risks into their conservation strategies, while supporting the development of technical tools and approaches such as vulnerability assessments.

 Maurice Amollo is a peacebuilding and development expert with 21 years of experience providing technical support, oversight, and management of development and conflict mitigation programs. He has over 10 years of senior program management experience. Having directed Peacebuilding and violence prevention programs as Chief of Party and a number of Resilience Building projects in complex crisis, he has demonstrated the ability to mobilize and organize government, civil society, clerics, and local community against ethnic-and resource-based violent conflicts, countering violent extremism (CVE) and abuse of human rights. As the Technical Quality Assurance Advisor for a multi-country peace-building program in the horn of Africa, Mr. Amollo directed the technical components of the program and demonstrated strategic thinking while communicating a strong vision to strengthen early warning systems and build the capacity of regional actors. He has a solid understanding of natural resource management, peacebuilding, Countering Violent Extremism, and the social dynamics that underpin development in transitional environments through both academic and practical experience. Having managed USAID, EC, DFID, Nike Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other major donor-funded programs in portfolios of up to $70 million, Mr. Amollo has a strong knowledge of how the stresses on natural resources undermine the capacity of nations to govern themselves, and increase the chances of conflict. He is known for creating an environment that cultivates high-public/private sector collaboration that value learning and problem solving. He has a master’s in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame.



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