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The biggest reality of our time: climate change

 

The biggest reality of our time: climate change

The UN Security Council was held for the 7th time on the 26  of February 2021 since 17 April 2007 when the debate on climate change as a threat to international peace and security started. Same year, 2007; the conflict in Darfur that led to the death of 300,000 people was the first to be recognised by the UN as  a climate related security issue – it all started with a prolong droughts from 1980s to 1990s. drought triggers conflict because conflict does not stand on it own, it must have been induced by either internal or either factors. Conflict is always the end product from its "exacerbator". In a country where majority depend on crop production and pasture grazing as their major occupations in a changing environmental condition, conflict is inevitable. Such leads to loss of livelihoods then grows into poverty and hunger, undermining human security. Also my participation at the youth consultation process of the Stockhlom International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on the interconnections between environment, security and peace brings the global perspectives of different countries. 

We can’t keep debating about the biggest reality of our time. It is time for the UN Security Council to accept the fact that climate change is a threat to international peace and security because it is something we can feel, see and sense from Nigeria to Syria. Also, during the meeting, it was stated by the UN Chief that; a study from International Peace Research Institute find out that, 8 out of the 10 countries hosting the multi-lateral peace operation in 2018 were exposed to climate change. Further stating that, those left behind, will be further left behind in a reoccurring climate change scenarios. Majority of the hotspots region to climate change have more than 40% dependence on agriculture and its land use for survival. Now, the decrease in rainfall and lengthy dry-out is complicating the crisis leading to the disruption in livelihoods which is the greatest weapon against peace and security. We are seeing this in the Lake Chad region where the displacement of people, about 10.7 million people from their livelihoods is creating a fertile land for the vulnerable to be susceptible to recruitment into armed group. As climate change crisis prolongs, these armed groups expand their reach whilst hitting deep into our national security. This trend is fast becoming a issue of life and death.

The world systems is gradually becoming overwhelmed by the effects of climate change. Lake Chad region is one of the world’s degraded landscapes. Invariably, climate change is a threat to our basic needs for human rights. According to the 2020 Global Terrorism Index report, these countries of the region are among the 10 least peaceful countries in Africa. It is disheartening to know that, some destruction by climate change cannot be revised any longer. According to Mark Lowcock, “since the 1970s, the Sahel has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world which has seriously affected livelihoods.” This is the reality of our time that, in Africa; temperatures in regions are rising 1.5 times faster than the global average. This in turns is leading to severe droughts, intense heatwave, floods, depletion of natural resources, cyclones and the resultant effect is the displacement of people from their livelihoods. Leaders at different levels should note that, while we still have this decade for action - we need to act according in taking critical decisions that will amplify solutions in shaping the present and the future. In our world of today, taking climate action as voluntary is like a free fall – we need to do better.

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