United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says it is working to support the Nigerian government’s strategies toward preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism in the same way of tackling climate change.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Sylvester Atere, the Outreach and Communications Officer of UNODC on Wednesday, October 24, 2019.
He said the Nigeria government was playing its part both in its policymaking and National Action Plan for preventing and countering violent extremism and implementing the President’s plan in rebuilding the North-East.
“As the world warms and the climate changes, researchers are increasingly concerned that in addition to the many environmental, meteorological, and economic challenges this will bring, there will also be an increase in political violence, terrorism and instability around the world.
“The impact of climate change and environmental collapse could be seen in a number of conflict zones around the globe.
“The relationship between resource competition and civil conflict is well-established, and in regions like the Lake Chad Basin, climate change has clearly exacerbated competition over increasingly scarce resources.
“In the language of security studies, climate change is a potential “threat multiplier,” he said.
Atere said that the 2009 UN report on climate change had highlighted five main threats arising from climate change.
He listed the threats to include vulnerability of food supplies and public health, the reversal of development gains; migration and internal unrest; statelessness and the loss of habitable territory; as well as international conflict over scarce resources.
He said that there also “threat minimisers” that could offset the potential for global unrest.
These he identified as: climate mitigation and adaptation, economic development, democratic governance, strong local and national institutions, international cooperation, and preventive diplomacy and mediation.
“The report’s predictions have proved prophetic. In recent years, environmental factors have been mentioned more and more frequently in the Security Council deliberations.
“This is in relation to Africa, where approximately 250 million people in Africa are projected to suffer from water and food insecurity during the 21st century as a consequence of climate change,” he said.
Atere said that regional concerns have continued to grow, adding that in February 2018 governments of the Lake Chad Basin countries issued the Abuja Declaration to raise global awareness of the dramatic shrinkage of the Lake Chad.
He said that the declaration also pointed out the expected impact that this would have on sustainable livelihoods, security, and development efforts in the region.