Noting that, "There is a strong body of research across various cases that shows linkages between environmental scarcity (caused by climate change and environmental degradation, dwindling resources, uncontrolled population growth, and social strain) and violent conflicts," the Center for Conflict Analysis, Early Warning and Peacebuilding at the American University of Nigeria will hold an international conference on "Environmental Change and Insecurity in the Sahel: The Roles of Civil Society and Local Non-Governmental Organizations in Building Resilient Communities." It will take place in February 2022.
Given the current constraints of the global pandemic, the Conference will be "hybrid" -- participants can attend both in-person and via the Internet.
AUN's Center for Conflict Analysis, Early Warning & Peacebuilding is a research-driven think-tank committed to monitoring, investigating, analyzing, and reporting conflict trends, manifestations, and mitigation.
Against the background of persistent resource disputes and other environmentally-driven conflicts, which have impacted socio-economic development in the region, the AUN Center seeks to explore the root causes and triggers of these conflicts and proffer lasting solutions to them.
The Conference will bring together local and international scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to share their work and expertise on the nexus of environmental change and violent conflicts, particularly in the West African Sahel.
The Sahel region has witnessed a steep rise in the scale and sophistication of violence by terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The proliferation of non-state armed groups, including jihadists and bandits in the region, has been linked to environmental degradation, rising poverty, and weak statehood.
"This hybrid conference seeks a nuanced understanding of the nexus of climate change and conflict in the Sahel, and the mitigating roles of local actors in the region. It explores how civil society, faith based and non-governmental organizations, (can) contribute to building resilient communities in the face of environmental scarcity, extreme poverty, population growth, extremist violence and weakening state institutions".
The conference call particularly invites papers that explore the roles of civil society and NGOs in building resilient communities to help mitigate the social impacts of environmental scarcity. Invited topics include
- local, community-led approaches to prevent or address the spread of violent conflict, extremism, and hate;
- women and youth in local environmental mitigation, peacebuilding, and resilient community efforts;
- lessons learned from local approaches to support sustainable livelihoods and reduce vulnerability to environmental changes and resource scarcity; and
- Lessons from community-resilient COVID-19 response and recovery initiatives.
The deadline for submission of abstracts is January 21, 2022. Accepted conference papers will be published in an edited journal.
Please, use this link to access more information about the Conference and the Center.