The Lake Chad crisis is becoming one of the worst humanitarian disasters since World War II, and climate change is considered one of the drivers. In the four countries that surround Lake Chad (Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria), about 17 million people are affected by the emergency, struggling with food insecurity, widespread violence, involuntary displacement, and the consequences of environmental degradation. An estimated 800,000 children suffer from acute malnutrition; and although international donors pledged $672 million in February, the famine and humanitarian misery continues unabated. Suicide bombings and attacks by Boko Haram have forced many people to leave their homes and farmers to leave their lands, interrupting livelihoods and reducing food supplies.
© Arno Trümper
- On October 2019, two launch events of the Shoring Up Stability report take place: in Berlin, Germany and Niamey, Niger.
- On 15 May 2019, the report "Shoring Up Stability: Addressing Climate & Fragility Risks in the Lake Chad Region" is launched by adelphi.
- On 3-4 September 2018, donors and NGOs working in Africa’s Lake Chad region met in Berlin to pledge money for humanitarian needs and to improve coordination, trying to better link short-term aid with long-term development projects in this crisis-hit region. Access here the meeting's key findings.
- On 11 July, Sweden chaired the United Nations Security Council debate on climate-related security risks. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed the complex relationship between climate change and conflict in the Lake Chad region and called action on climate change an integral part of building a culture of prevention and ensuring peace.
- On 5-8 July 2018 a high-level joint United Nations-African Union delegation visited the Lake Chad region. The delegation included Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström who stressed the need to address the links between climate and security at the United Nations Security Council.
- 7 May 2018, adelphi launches the Climate-Fragility Profile: Lake Chad Basin at the 2018 Stockholm Forum for Peace and Development. It summarizes the key challenges the Lake Chad region is experiencing as a consequence of the interplay between climate change and fragility.
- 22 March 2018, the UN Security Council discusses the security situation in the Lake Chad Basin and listens to a range of experts, among them Sigrid Kaag (Dutch Foreign Trade Minister), Amina J. Mohammed (Deputy Secretary-
General of the UN and a former Minister of Environment of Nigeria), Chitra Nagarajan (independent conflict adviser) and Mohammed Bila (representative of the Lake Chad Basin Commission).
- 30 January 2018, the UN Security Council takes another step forward in substantively addressing the security implications of climate change by issuing a Presidential Statement that addresses the intersection of climate change and stability across West Africa and the Sahel. It is significant due to its specificity of geography (West Africa and the Sahel) and substance (calling for “risk assessment and risk management strategies”), as well as its scale, covering far more countries than last year’s Lake Chad resolution.
- 12 December 2017, 350 experts on climate and security launch The Hague Declaration, which contains six recommendations, including one on supporting the integrated risk assessment on Lake Chad.
- 12-13 December 2017, at the Planetary Security Conference 2017 local policy-makers and experts, civil society and the international community exchanged views and lessons learned on climate-fragility risks and existing activities in the Lake Chad region.
- 26-27 October 2017, the G7 Working Group on Climate Change and Fragility met in Rome where its members were briefed on the climate-fragility risks in the Lake Chad region.
- On 12 October 2017, in an address to the Security Council, the UN Secretary General pointed out that 8.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Lake Chad region and called for the development of a regional strategy to fight the root causes of the crisis.
- 13 September 2017, a report by the UN Secretary General was presented to the Security Council emphasising the urgency of the situation and the importance of addressing the root causes of the crisis.
- On 6 September 2017, The Oslo Consultative Group on the Prevention and Stabilization in the Lake Chad region met for the first time in Berlin.
- On 30 August 2017, the UN Secretary General presented a report to the UN Security Council, stressing the challenges arising from Boko Haram’s terrorist activities in the Lake Chad Basin region.
- 5 May 2017, during a multistakeholder workshop in Stockholm different international and local organisations and experts discussed the situation in the Lake Chad region and ways to address the crisis.
- 29 April 2017, adelphi published the report Insurgency, Terrorism and Organised Crime in a Warming Climate with a case study on Lake Chad, pointing out the vicious cycle of violence, conflict and fragility which is exacerbated by the impacts of climate change in the region.
- 31 March 2017, the UNSC resolution on security on Lake Chad recognised that climate change impacts on the fragile security situation in the region and called upon the UN and governments to conduct adequate risk assessments and develop management strategies.
- On 24 February 2017, Germany, Nigeria, Norway and the United Nations co-hosted the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region. 14 donors pledged $672 million for relief aid. The conference put a particular focus on the needs of women, children and youth as well as longer-term support for the crisis-affected population.
Mohamed’s Story: The Climate Conflict Trap in the Lake Chad Basin - Years ago, Mohamed’s family had enough to eat, despite being poor. His daughter owned a vegetable stall at a bustling market in northeastern Nigeria. The family had options: during the dry season, when Lake Chad was shallow, Mohamed could farm; and during the wet season, he could fish or graze his cattle.
CASE-STUDY: Conflict and Armed Opposition Groups in the Lake Chad Basin - The people living around Lake Chad are currently suffering from an intertwined humanitarian and security crisis. Clashes between military forces and Boko Haram over territory, attacks on civilians, and heavy handed counter-insurgency measures are worsening displacement, food insecurity and eroding of trust in political authorities. The government’s approach, often centred on military operations, has often undermined local livelihoods adding to the pressures already faced by communities living in conflict areas. Combined social, economic and political developments underlie the current situation while pressures brought by climate change could compound its severity.
VIDEO (4 min.): Climate change is a critical factor in Lake Chad crisis conflict trap - "Shoring Up Stability" report: Lake Chad is caught in a conflict trap. It is experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies with an estimated 10.7 million people in need of assistance. Now a new G7 mandated report from the Berlin-based think tank adelphi shows, for the first time, how climate change is interacting with the conflict to compound the crisis and sets out how these challenges might be overcome.
Event summary: HLPF Side Event "Climate, Fragility and the SDGs: Lessons from Lake Chad" at the Delegation of the EU to the UN in New York on 10 July 2019.
CASE-STUDY: Climate and Fragility Risks in the Lake Chad Region - The people of Lake Chad are caught in a conflict trap. Clashes between state security forces and armed opposition groups have become entangled with local tensions over fishing and grazing rights. Meanwhile, climatic changes may bring new challenges for regional cooperation, which underpins human security and ultimately, a viable political solution to the crisis in the Lake Chad region.
News on the Lake Chad crisis – Interview with Mohammed Bila, Lake Chad Basin Commission: The issues that afflict the Lake Chad basin cross sectors and national borders – and so should their solutions. Mohammed Bila from the Lake Chad Basin Commission gives an overview of the main political developments in the last two years. He stresses that there is much to be done by local actors in responding to emergencies, but that the international community has a central role to play in breaking the climate conflict trap.
Climate Change, Peace and Security in the Lake Chad Basin: This flyer summarizes the key findings and take-aways that emerged in the meeting with donors and NGOs active in the Lake Chad Basin, held on 3-4 September 2018 in Berlin.
Lake Chad Region – Climate-related security risk assessment: In this report, the Expert Working Group on Climate-Related Security Risks provides a climate-related security risk assessment and options for climate risk management strategies in the Lake Chad region.
Climate-Fragility Profile: Lake Chad Basin: This Climate-Fragility profile is envisaged as a first component of a Climate-Fragility Risk Assessment process. It summarizes the key challenges the Lake Chad region is experiencing as a consequence of the interplay between climate change and fragility.
- We must not get stuck in policy circles – How to handle climate change and conflict at Lake Chad - The Lake Chad region experiences a multitude of crises: lack of employment and education opportunities, resource scarcity and violent conflict, all exacerbated by the effects of climate change, making the Lake Chad region Africa’s largest humanitarian emergency. At the margins of the Planetary Security Conference 2017, we spoke with the independent conflict adviser Chitra Nagarajan about the region’s future.
- VIDEO (10 min): Lake Chad – Tackling Climate-Fragility Risks - The world’s most extensive humanitarian crisis since 1945 is currently playing out in the four countries that surround Lake Chad: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. Multiple stressors converge in the region. Unemployment, violent insurgencies, poverty and depleting resources interact with climate change and create a perfect storm of climate-fragility risks. The international community must act, in order to secure lives and livelihoods.
- NEWS: G7 Working Group Meeting on Climate and Fragility in Rome - What will come next for G7 action on climate and fragility? From 25-27 October 2017, G7 representatives gathered in Rome to discuss pathways to manage the climate-fragility nexus, and exchange views on climate-related issues such as food security, involuntary migration and land resources. adelphi convened a targeted workshop on the design of the new G7 risk assessment on Lake Chad and steps to respond to the crisis in the region.
- BLOG: Lake Chad Basin: One long climate catastrophe - Climate change is feeding poverty, instability, hunger and violence in the Lake Chad basin.
- REPORT: UN Secretary General's Report on Lake Chad Crisis - On 13 September, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s 7 September report on the situation in Lake Chad Basin region (S/2017/764). The Council requested the report in resolution 2349, which it adopted on 31 March following its visiting mission to the Lake Chad Basin in early March.
- VIDEO: UN Security Council mission to Lake Chad 2017 - Interview with Carl Skau - In April 2017, the UN Security Council sent a mission to the Lake Chad region, where the largest humanitarian crisis is currently playing out. Carl Skau, Ambassador and UN Security Council Coordinator from Sweden, went on that mission and tells us what he saw in Nigeria and Chad, and what struck him most. It is imperative to now follow-up on that visit, and firmly establish climate security risks in the Council's work.
- CASE STUDY: Lake Chad - Interstate Conflicts and Cooperation - Between 1963 and the present day, the surface of Lake Chad has shrunk by 50%. In the context of increasing environmental change, long-term stability requires the cooperation of the co-riparians to elaborate sustainable strategies to manage the basin region.
- VIDEO: adelphi workshop on Lake Chad climate fragility - Interview with Janani Vivekananda - At the 2017 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, adelphi, in partnership with SIPRI and SEI, convened two sessions on climate change and fragility risks in the Lake Chad region, to discuss the different approaches and next steps for building resilience. Janani Vivekanda, Senior Project Manager at adelphi, shares the outcomes of that workshop.
- VIDEO: Climate Change, Marginalization, Terrorism - What to do about Lake Chad? – Interview with Dan Smith - What are solutions, or approaches, to climate change and fragility in the Lake Chad region? How to tackle compound problems such as climate change, migration and terrorism? Dan Smith, Director of SIPRI, explains why the Lake Chad Basin is one of the greatest trouble spots of our time, and what measures need to be taken. The most important is governance, followed by actual security measures, and management of scarce water resources.
- INTERVIEW: Lake Chad – The most complex humanitarian crisis of our time? - The world’s most extensive humanitarian crisis is currently playing out in the Lake Chad region, with some 17 million people affected, and 7 million suffering food insecurity. We spoke with Ambassador Hinrich Thölken, Permanent Representative of Germany to FAO, WFP and IFAD, who travelled to both Nigeria and Chad to gain a better understanding of the different compound pressures.
- CASE STUDY: Lake Chad, Africa - Local Conflicts over Survival Resources - The depletion of the Lake Chad basin and its ecosystem has fostered growing competition and tension over resources amongst the basin population. Dependent on natural resources for their livelihood, the communities are highly vulnerable to environmental changes in the basin.
- NEWS: Stockholm conclusions on climate-fragility risks around Lake Chad - At the 2017 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development from 3 - 4 May, adelphi, in partnership with SIPRI and SEI, convened two sessions on climate change and fragility risks in the Lake Chad region, to discuss the different approaches and next steps for building resilience.
- NEWS: Climate-fragility risks in Lake Chad on the agenda at Stockholm Forum on Security and Development - adelphi, along with partners SIPRI and SEI, are organizing a side event at the forthcoming Stockholm Forum of Security and Development from 3-4 May on “Climate-fragility risks in the Lake Chad region – scope for conflict prevention and resilience building”. The event will bring together experts from the region along with representatives of donor and development cooperation organizations to discuss how to better link peacebuilding with climate change adaptation to build resilience against climate-fragility risks.
- BLOG: Capturing double exposures in Lake Chad - In an article recently published in Regional Environmental Change, Uche Okpara, Lindsay Stringer, and Andrews Dougill discuss the development and application of a climate-water conflict vulnerability index to assess communities along the southeastern shores of Lake Chad in the Republic of Congo.
- NEWS: Global warming raises tensions in Boko Haram region - Climate change makes Lake Chad fertile territory for extremism, experts say after Boko Haram massacre of up to 2,000 people.
VIDEO: UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Boko Haram, Lake Chad Violence and Climate Change - Amina Mohammed is UN Deputy Secretary-General and former Minister of the Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In this interview, Mohammed points out how the nexus between security and climate change has become very apparent throughout Nigeria. She talks about the linkages between Boko Haram and the drying of Lake Chad, as well as the challenges of urbanisation, rising sea levels and militancy in the Niger Delta.
- Climate Home - Lake Chad not shrinking, but climate is fuelling terror groups: report (May, 2019)
- The Guardian - What would make a woman go back to Boko Haram? Despair (January, 2019)
- Plan International - Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Voices from the Lake Chad Basin (August, 2018)
- D+C - Article "A vicious circle at Lake Chad" & interview with Janani Vivekananda on lack of trust | German version here (September, 2018)
- UNDP - Resilience for Sustainable Development in the Lake Chad Basin
- Agence Française de Développement - Crisis and Development - The Lake Chad Region and Boko Haram | French version (April/August, 2018)
- OXFAM - Supportig livelihoods in the Lake Chad Basin (March, 2018)
- USGS - Satellite images of environmental change: Lake Chad
- WFP - Situation Reports: Lake Chad Basin
- UNOCHA - Lake Chad Basin Crisis Overview
- FAO - Lake Chad Basin Crisis
- HDX - Lake Chad Datasets: displacements, conflicts, humanitarian funding and food security
- The New Yorker - Lake Chad: The world's most complex humanitarian disaster (December 4th, 2017)
- ODI - Lake Chad Basin: An overlooked crisis (October 24th, 2017)
- SIPRI - The unfolding humanitarian crisis around Lake Chad: UN report falls short of naming environmental dimensions (September 19th, 2017)
- Amnesty International - Lake Chad region: Boko Haram’s renewed campaign sparks sharp rise in civilian deaths (September 5th, 2017)
- Norwegian Refugee Council - Almost 800,000 children severely malnourished in the Lake Chad Region (September 5th, 2017)
- Geopolitical Monitor - Climate Change, Hunger, and Terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin (September 5th, 2017)
- University of Maroua, LUCSUS - Seasonal Migration and Settlement around Lake Chad: Strategies for Control of Resources in an Increasingly Drying Lake (August 25th, 2017)
- UNFPA - From crisis to development around Lake Chad (July, 2017)
- New Republic - One meal a day (June 26th, 2017)
- BBC News - Lake Chad: The faces of the world's 'silent emergency' (June 24th, 2017)
- National Geographic - An Uncertain Future on the Shores of Africa's Vanishing Lake (May 12th, 2017)
- REACH - Chad: Rising protection concerns and serious lack of basic services in the Lake region (April 25th, 2017)
- UNICEF - Lake Chad conflict: alarming surge in number of children used in Boko Haram bomb attacks this year (April 12th, 2017)
- ISS Africa - The hidden opportunity of the Lake Chad Basin crisis (March 10th, 2017)
- ICG - Fighting Boko Haram in Chad: Beyond military measures (March 3rd, 2017)
- ICG - Niger and Boko Haram: Beyond Counter-insurgency (February 27th, 2017)
- ICG - Lake Chad Basin: Controlling the Cost of Counter-insurgency (February 24th, 2017)
- Global Partnership for Education - Education for protection and development in the Lake Chad Basin crisis (February 23rd, 2017)
- ICG - Cameroon: Confronting Boko Haram (November 16th, 2016)
- BBC News - Why is Lake Chad disappearing (April 22nd, 2016)