The Weathering Risk Peace Pillar

Translating Weathering Risk's climate-security analysis into peacebuilding action where it is needed most.
Blue illustration
© Inga Israel | adelphi

Why: Evidence from around the world shows that climate change is closely interlinked with conflict.  Along indirect pathways, such as undermining livelihood conditions, and via intermediate factors, such as governance or inequality, climate change contributes to increased conflict and insecurity. Those working to improve social cohesion, peace or security should therefore integrate ways to build resilience towards climate security risks into peace programming, and ensure it is a core consideration of preventing, mitigating and resolving violent conflicts. It is not only essential to find sustainable solutions for peace, but addressing climate security risks also provides an opportunity to bring people together to collaboratively tackle the challenges they are facing. When undertaken in a conflict sensitive manner, climate action to address environmental, climate or resource challenges facing communities can act as a catalyst for dialogue, an incentive for parties in conflict to engage in peaceful conflict resolution.

How: Guided by the analytical approach of Weathering Risk, the Peace Pillar translates climate-security foresight and analysis into peacebuilding action where it is needed most. Currently in its first phase, the Peace Pillar implements a number of pilot projects conducted by experienced peacebuilding organisations in regions severely affected by conflict and climate risks. Through and from implementation the Peace Pillar aims to share and elevate evidence-based recommendations in mainstreaming climate-security to support sustainable peace processes on the ground.

Impact and M&E

To better understand the added value of integrating climate-security risk analysis into peacebuilding efforts, the Peace Pillar will monitor and evaluate the impacts on peace generated by its pilot projects. The results of impact assessments will contribute to ongoing implementation through empirical learning to ensure successful interventions. The collected lessons learned, best practices and insights about the compound risks caused by the interaction of insecurity and climate change will be shared with practitioners and policy makers to create a growing evidence base and enable more targeted and systematic climate-informed peacebuilding programming in the future.

Who: The Peace Pillar is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by adelphi in partnership with the Berghof Foundation, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) and the European Institute of Peace (EIP). The Peace Pillar works with evaluation experts, including Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to assess the impact of the pilot projects.

When: The first phase of the initiative was launched in January 2022 and will run over a two-year pilot period. In view of the time spans needed to achieve and measure impacts on building peace, and in order to ensure sustainability of interventions, a second phase is envisioned.

Where: Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, and Bay of Bengal

Weathering Risk Peace Pillar Map
© adelphi

Pilot projects:

Strengthening Iraqi capacities to respond to climate risks and their impact on existing conflict dynamics | Berghof Foundation

Iraq is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. For decades, the country has also experienced ongoing conflict including from the war and its’ legacy, ISIS, and internally disputed territories, among others. Against the backdrop of repeated cycles of intense violent conflict and insecurity, there is an acute risk that conflict dynamics will worsen as the impacts of climate change become more severe. Combined, these trends will continue to undermine the Iraqi population’s ability to build climate resilience. Working in nine districts across five governorates, this project ultimately aims to strengthen Iraqi capacities to respond to climate risks and their impact on conflict dynamics. Together with the local partner organisation Peace Paradigms Organisation (PPO), Berghof conducts extensive research to identify and analyse the impact of climate change on local conflict dynamics. This knowledge will be used as a starting point for climate-informed peace-building interventions, focusing on conflict-sensitive climate adaptation and climate-focused mediation.

Environmental pathways for reconciliation Yemen | EIP

Since 2014, the Yemeni people have been experiencing a ravaging civil war which is affecting their lives at the most basic level. Scarcity of water and food insecurity are ubiquitous across the country, along with other environment-related challenges. Yemen´s security and environmental crisis is worsening with climate change, which causes drier seasons and more frequent extreme weather events such as flash floods. Environmental challenges underpin livelihoods, interact with conflict dynamics, and therefore need to be part of the search for peace. Environmental Pathways for Reconciliation builds on an existing engagement that focuses on voicing the needs and priorities of Yemenis. It was established to support civil society to address risks related to climate, environment, and conflict. The initiative aims to support a platform for local communities to express their concerns around the challenges and opportunities of environmental conditions and climate change to help integrate them into the peace process. The project runs along four components: strengthening the Platform by building the capacity of local staff and coordinators, conducting structured consultations with Yemeni people across the country, facilitating engagement on environmental issues through the platform, and building an evidence base for the climate-conflict nexus in Yemen to be shared with local and international stakeholders.

Infrastructures for peace and environmental peacebuilding in Hirshabelle and Galmudug States, Somalia | Berghof Foundation

Somalia’s rainy season in 2022 was the driest in seven decades, and conflict has been exacerbated as vital resources have grown scarcer. Currently, there are just under three million Internally Displaced Persons in Somalia, many of whom are facing acute food and other insecurities in growing camps, particularly in Mogadishu. Meanwhile, tens of thousands fled to neighbouring Kenya in 2022, adding pressure to already strained resources. Somalia is an archetype of compound climate security threats, with disaster risk, protracted conflict, and severe climate change vulnerability combining to destabilise the region. Building on previous projects in the region, Infrastructures for peace and environmental peacebuilding will contribute to the constructive transformation of cycles of conflict, climate change, and environmental degradation. The project is being carried out in the states of Hirshabelle and Galmudug, developing inclusive and climate conscious strategies to address these challenges. The project aims to strengthen community resilience, support conflict transformation in areas most affected by protracted violence, and strengthen the capacity of both formal and informal institutions to perform environmentally-informed peacebuilding roles. 

Multi-level approaches for sustainable peace in Nigeria’s Middle Belt (Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States) | HD

Farmer-herder disputes over natural resources have led to violence which saw thousands killed in Nigeria in recent years. Natural disasters and inhospitable conditions have displaced additional hundreds of thousands. The effects of climate change are particularly acute in the Middle Belt, known as the “breadbasket” of Nigeria. This project conducts dialogue and mediation at multiple levels, with a special focus on environmental peace-making capacity building. Track 3 dialogues are instigated with key stakeholders to the conflict, in addition to track 1.5 dialogue between communities. Building trust and confidence is a priority, with the ultimate aim of improving resource sharing through dialogue and reducing the potential for conflict.

Bay of Bengal maritime dialogue | HD

Environmental degradation, depleting fish stocks, and climate change are severely impacting the Bay of Bengal. A high dependency on the marine environment of the Bay, one of the most densely populated regions of the world, is posing a serious threat to the littoral states in terms of food security, livelihoods and economic development. With regressing resource availability leading to tensions in the Bay of Bengal this dialogue project aims to prevent the escalation of conflict over marine resources in the region. The project will set up and facilitate spaces for dialogue between affected parties, building a mechanism to manage disputes that arise. Confidence-building measures and standard operating principles will be adopted by littoral states with engagement from the governments of India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

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Driving dialogue between geographies | Weathering Risk Peace Pillar