Marine and coastal resources and conflict in a high-CO2 world

This chapter explores the increased risk of conflict in Africa due to the marine impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, including coastal inundation, coral bleaching and food web collapse. Combined, these phenomena threaten coral reefs, fish stocks and the well-being of coastal communities and economies. Coastal and marine resources including fish, shellfish, wood and seaweed contribute significantly to meeting human security needs of millions of people through the provision of important sources of food, livelihoods and coastal protection. This chapter suggests that climate change and ocean acidification threaten to reduce the abundance and change the distribution of vital marine and coastal resources and thereby undermine human security, increasing the likelihood of conflicts. Boosting the resilience of marine ecosystems by reducing or removing other pressures will be paramount in the ability of coastal communities and economies to adapt to climate change and ocean acidification, and thereby reduce the possibility of conflict erupting. Management of coastal and marine resources should be understood as not only sound sustainable development practice, but also as an effective means of preparing and adapting African communities for climate change and addressing a potential driver of conflict.

Harrould-Kolieb E. R. & Kolieb J. A., 2014. Marine and coastal resources and conflict in a high-CO2 world. In Bob U. & Bronkhorst S., Conflict-sensitive adaptation to climate change in Africa, BWV Verlag, p. 121-140. Book chapter.


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