Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks
This independent report, commissioned by the G7 members, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to the stability of states and societies in the decades ahead. Based on a thorough assessment of existing policies on climate change adaptation, development cooperation and humanitarian aid, and peacebuilding, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete action, both as individual members and jointly, to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase resilience to them.
When climate change exacerbates conflicts and crises, resilience must be the compass for foreign policy. The Resilience Compass features news, reflections and opinions on climate change and fragility, with contributions from the Wilson Center’s New Security Beat, International Alert and guest authors.
This collection of resources complements and extends the analysis of the report. It contains an interactive factbook allowing users to explore case studies from around the world and provides background readings and contextualized report and event summaries.
Land grabs and the global farms race
Between 2004 and 2009, the Ethiopian government leased or sold more than 1.2 million hectares of farmland to foreign investors. More than 800 foreign-financed agricultural projects were approved, leasing fertile farmland at less than US$1 per acre per year. While the land deals were presented as beneficial to Ethiopians, the promises of new technologies, employment, and agricultural modernization have not materialized. And though Ethiopia has large areas of arable land, when the acquisitions took place, a large part of the population—7.5 million—was already food insecure.
These land deals often lack transparency, preventing the public and displaced populations from learning the value of the deal or the land. The authoritarian Ethiopian government systematically marginalizes indigenous communities, ignoring national and international law, human rights standards, basic needs, and minority rights during these land acquisitions. In 2003, more than 400 people were killed by government forces for resisting foreign investment projects, leading to conflicts with local communities and indigenous groups. The Anuak community in the Gambella region was violently relocated to state-created villages that lacked public services, and the Ethiopian military was reported to have committed murder, rape, false imprisonment, and torture while clearing the land. Such forced resettlement programmes may have troublesome knock-on effects, fuelling inter-ethnic resource competition in new settlement areas and clashes between agro-pastoralists and working migrants from the highlands. They may also have regional repercussions as pastoralists flee to Kenya or South Sudan, which could lead to increased resource pressure in these areas. These types of movements have already triggered conflict in the contested Ilemi Triangle.
Bunting, Madeleine 2011: How land grabs in Africa could herald a new dystopian age of hunger. Retrieved 17 Nov 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/jan/28/africa-land-grabs-food-security?INTCMP=SRCH.
Deininger, Klaus W. and Derek Byerlee 2011: Rising global interest in farmland: can it yield sustainable and equitable benefits? Washington, DC: World Bank.
FAO and WFP 2009: Crop and food security assessment mission to Ethiopia. Integrating the crop and food supply and the emergency food security assessments. Rome: FAO; WFP.
Hennings, Anne 2014: Das Konfliktpotenzial exklusiver Land Grabbing Praktiken. Retrieved 09 Jan 2015, from http://www.afk-web.de/fileadmin/afk-web.de/data/zentral/dokumente/AFK-Kolloquium_2014/Paperroom_2014/Hennings_Paper.pdf.
Koprucu, Feza 2011: Ethiopian land grab. Retrieved 17 Nov 2014, from http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/ethiopia-land-swap.htm.
Mittal, Anuradha 2013: Indian land grabs in Ethiopia show dark side of south-south cooperation. Retrieved 10 Feb 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/feb/25/indian-land-grabs-ethiopia.
Murphy, Sophia 2013: Land grabs and fragile food systems. The role of globalization. Minneapolis: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
Oxfam 2012: Extreme weather, extreme prices: the costs of feeding a warming world. Retrieved 16 Feb 2015, from http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/20120905-ib-extreme-weather-extreme-prices-en.pdf.
Peebles, Graham 2013: Ethiopia: lives for land in Gambella. Retrieved 24 Nov 2014, from http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/29243-land-in-gambella.html.
Sagawa, Toru 2010: Local potential for peace: trans-ethnic cross-cutting ties among the Daasanech and their neighbors. In: Echi-Gabbert, Christina; Thubauville, Sophia (eds.): To live with others: Essays on cultural neighborhood in Southern Ethiopia. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
Schellhase, John 2013: A subtle engagement: Ethiopia and India. Retrieved 05 Aug 2014, from http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1325:a-subtle-engagement-ethiopia-and-india&catid=58:asia-dimension-discussion-papers&Itemid=264.