Environmental Degradation Triggering Tensions and Conflict in Sudan

Sudan is unlikely to see a lasting peace unless widespread and rapidly accelerating environmental degradation is urgently addressed.

A new assessment of the country, including the troubled region of Darfur, indicates that among the root causes of decades of social strife and conflict are the rapidly eroding environmental services in several key parts of the country.

Investment in environmental management, financed by the international community and from the country’s emerging boom in oil and gas exports, will be a vital part of the peace building effort, says the report.

The scale of climate change as recorded in Northern Darfur is almost unprecedented, and its impacts are closely linked to conflict in the region, as desertification has added significantly to the stress on traditional agricultural and pastoral livelihoods.

In addition, ‘forecast climate change is expected to further reduce food production due to declining rainfall and increased variability, particularly in the Sahel belt. A drop in crop yields of up to 70 per cent is forecast for the most vulnerable areas,’ says the Sudan Post-Conflict Assessment.”

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