As climate change amplifies weather disasters and destabilizes food and water supplies, recent research has confirmed: Our planet’s warming is weakening already fragile states, increasing the risk of violent conflicts and sparking human displacement and migration on an unprecedented scale. USIP is working to understand how climate policy and peacebuilding can work together to ensure that we stay ahead of the climate curve and put affected communities on the path toward long-term peace and stability.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s population will nearly double to more than 2 billion by 2050, surpassing Asia by 2070. African policymakers recognize this trend and have focused efforts on increasing economic productivity. Native rangelands — the uncultivated grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, wetlands and savannas where wild and domestic animals graze — cover 43% of the continent’s land area. But rangelands have often been perceived as undeveloped areas and centers of degradation, erosion, desertification, droughts, famine and conflict. These vast areas, and the people they support, tend to be pushed to the periphery of political agendas, allowing root causes of degradation of land and livelihoods to fester and ultimately contributing to a vicious cycle of tension and conflict.
Few people expected much progress at the 2023 U.N. Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28) following contentious discussions around the development of a new Loss and Damage Fund, a grim Global Stocktake report detailing exactly how far away the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement still are and questions about the intentions of the conference chair who came from the oil and gas industry. However, the agreement signed on December 13 makes surprising progress in a few key areas, while still leaving much to be desired.
Since 2010, the global demand for lithium has surged due to its unique properties ideal for battery production in electric vehicles and electronic devices. Bolivia, home to the world’s largest lithium deposits, views this resource as a transformative opportunity for industrialization and modernization, but if mismanaged, it could also be a source of internal conflict. The United States has an opportunity to use its hemispheric position and technical advantage to help Bolivia develop its lithium reserves in a productive and economically viable way, edging out other actors such as China whose transactional approach leaves much to be desired.
In partnership with USAID, USIP is embarking on an innovative, experimental project that will support Tunisia’s local governments and civil society as they co-develop and implement solutions to environmental governance challenges that are exacerbating fragility and heighten ing exposure to climate shocks.
Much of the research that has been conducted on the impact of China’s economic engagement with Africa has focused on their economic exchanges and security engagements in isolation of one another. But few have sought to understand the interconnections between these themes. These interconnections matter, as some Chinese firms are responsible for environmental degradation, population displacement, corruption and illegal extraction activities — all of which are factors that can drive conflict.
The U.S. Institute of Peace supports programs and research that contribute to the mission of promoting enduring peace in South Asia. The institute provides analysis, capacity development and resources to individuals and institutions working to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict. In Pakistan, USIP awards funding in three categories, ranging from projects that test new, experimental ideas to supporting local and international organizations on policy relevant research.