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Climate change in the Sahel: A human security perspective


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  Climate change1 and speculation over its security implications pervade political and public discourse. Against this backdrop, recent incidents involving terrorism and trafficking in the Sahel which is identified as one of the most vulnerable to climate makes this region a most pressing security concerns of the OECD countries.

  As emphasised in Article 1, the climate of the Sahel features extreme variability in precipitation from one season or decade to another. Nevertheless, the scientific community has been unable to reach consensus on the causes of lengthy drought at the end of the 20th century, or on the directions of climate change.

  As for the cause‐and‐effect relationship between climate and security, climatic variables would seem secondary, and often indirect, as compared with political, historical and economic variables. These uncertainties, highlighted by the recent SWAC/OECD study, would suggest that security should be tackled in its expanded dimension (human security), in particular by focusing more on food security and optimising the "management" of climatic variability in future policies.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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