Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Is the Darfur conflict due to climate change?

Is the Darfur conflict caused by climate change? Is this a sign of things to come as global temperatures rise and liveable land, water and food become scarcer? A report published by the UN Environment Programme following an 18 month study of Sudan concludes “Darfur…holds grim lessons for other countries at risk”. The report basically says that the conflict in Darfur has been driven by climate change. The region has suffered a 30% drop in rainfall over the last 40 years and the Sahara desert is advancing by over a mile each year. This is causing tensions in the area between farmers and herders as they fight over disappearing pastures and drying water holes. When one group happens to be of a different ethnic group to the other, you have the seeds of a local war. The UN warns that this type of conflict will spread throughout Africa as climate change creates droughts, increases desert areas and forces population movement into neighbouring areas. The potential for war is growing as fast as the temperatures are rising. Global warming is already affecting many parts of the world, and as the temperature rises, the consequences will be more widespread and far-reaching. Do we really want to live in a world where wars are fought over liveable land and resources like food and water? Do we really want mass migration and the havoc that will cause? Action is needed now.

[Via The Guardian]

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