Chapter 1.2 – Land Degradation and Its Impact on Security

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By Hartmut Behrend

Abstract

Land degradation and climate change are threat multipliers due to their huge impact on human security and the increased conflict potential caused by their impacts on three conflict constellations: water scarcity, land availability, and food insecurity. The main background drivers for these three conflict constellations are population growth and the rising living standards that many are enjoying, with migration acting both as an option to avoid conflict and as a source of new conflict. This text describes four “hot spot” regions where land degradation and climate change have the largest impact on security: the Sahel, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the coastal zones of South and Southeast Asia. It argues that sustainable agricultural and water-management methods are key to mitigating the conflict potential arising from land degradation while also efficiently addressing climate change.

 

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