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Sustainable international development: conservation conflict Hilary Homans ACES conference: 24 th August 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable international development: conservation conflict Hilary Homans ACES conference: 24 th August 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable international development: conservation conflict Hilary Homans ACES conference: 24 th August 2011

2 Overview Sustainable international development Population, consumption Conflict as cause or effect? Climate change - displacement and migration Future research and action

3 Environmental protection Environmental protection Sustainable development Economic, social and environment process are inter-connected Rio Summit on Environment and Development, 1992 Need to place people at the centre of development Social Development Economic Development Economic Development

4 Development is complex Development does not fit neatly into disciplinary boxes. It requires a transdisciplinary approach involving a range of actors, innovation and collaboration.

5 Over population?

6 Are conservation conflicts greatest where population density is highest?

7 Map with countries resized according to the total number of people living in each country in 2011 (based on UN estimates) content/uploads/2011/07/WorldmapperPopulationCartogram2011.jpg content/uploads/2011/07/WorldmapperPopulationCartogram2011.jpg 2011

8 Why do so many think that population growth is an important issue for the environment? We face many environmental challenges, but the foremost is the risk for a severe climate change due to CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. Many think that population growth is a major problem in regard to climate change. BUT the number of children born per year globally has stopped growing since 1990. (Hans Rosling)

9 Population and poverty Hans Rosling – “Only by raising the living standards of the poorest, in an environmentally-friendly way, will population growth stop at 9 billion people in 2050.” The only thing that can change this is if the poorest 1-2 billion do not get access to school, electricity, basic health services and family planning..then we may exceed 9 billion.

10 Population and equity Over the next forty years, nearly all (97%) of the 2.3 billion projected population increase will be in the less developed regions, with nearly half (49%) in Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa in 2008 contraceptive prevalence for women (married or in union) aged 15 to 49 was only 22% and had hardly increased from 2000 when it was 20% (UN MDG Report 2011).

11 Poverty and inequality Trickle down theory does not work World’s richest 2% hold over 50% of wealth Inequalities in access to resources are increasing


13 Conservation and poverty Conservation in less developed countries is affected by: – high human pressure on natural habitats – poverty – low conservation education – lack of integration of local population Kanyamibwa, S. ‘Impact of war on conservation: Rwandan environment and wildlife in agony.’ Biodiversity and Conservation 7, 1399±1406 (1998)

14 Over consumption Benjamin D. Hennig (University of Sheffield) “Only the few living over their limit are the real problem, not the many living from so little.” Over consumption and overshoot lead to – famine – resource conflicts and wars – mass migrations – disease and other human tragedies (Global Footprint Network )

15 Food insecurity Historical data from more than 20,000 maize trials in Africa found – About 65% of current maize growing areas in Africa would experience yield losses for a one degree C warming even with optimal rain fed- management Lobell, D.B. et al, Nature Climate Change, 1, Pages: 42–45 2011

16 Maize and total cereal production (tons) in Zimbabwe 1980-2009

17 Resource conflicts Competition over scarce water and land, intensified by regional climate change, are a key factor in local level conflicts in Central Africa Republic, Chad, Darfur & northern Kenya When livelihoods are threatened by declining natural resources, people can: – Innovate – Flee – Become involved in conflict

18 Natural resource extraction Dispossession of land for mining environmental impacts Oil extraction Niger Delta environmental degradation Inadequate distribution of returns from resource extraction activities violence in Niger Delta (Mochizuki, 2004 and Watts, 2001) Oil wealth Nigeria dramatic health inequalities

19 Conflict & environment Political and ethnic conflicts (particularly in African countries), significantly affect all sectors of human society, the environment and wildlife. Main effects of Rwandan civil war on the environment – destruction of wildlife (animals killed) – destruction of habitats by bombs – pollution of rivers and aquatic ecosystems – fragmentation of parks and reserves – dispersion and death of local environmentalists and conservationists – interruption of research and conservation activities Kanyamibwa, S. ‘Impact of war on conservation: Rwandan environment and wildlife in agony.’ Biodiversity and Conservation 7, 1399±1406 (1998)

20 Climate change Survey of nearly 1,400 species found global warming is causing animals and plants to migrate further up mountains and away from the equator in attempts to avoid the higher temperatures associated with climate change. Professor Chris Thomas, Science, 19 th August 2011

21 Movements of animals and people Animals to higher plateaus People from inhospitable arid areas to urban areas – “informal settlements” – urbanisation the “greatest threat to humanity” Neglected zoonotic diseases & threats of disease from rodents zoonoses/en/index.html

22 Humanitarian situations Seriously undermine development and tend to have a disproportionate impact on the poor who cannot buy their way out of the problem. In 2010, over 90% of disaster displacement within countries was caused by climate- related hazards, mainly floods and storms Many millions of people displaced annually as a result of climate-related slow onset disasters, such as drought

23 Flooding & drought Flooding - Jakarta Iridimi refugee camp - Chad

24 Displacement Sudden natural disasters displaced 42 million people in 2010 (Norwegian Refugee Council, 2010) Conflict and persecution forcibly displaced 43.7 million people worldwide in 2010, the highest number in more than 15 years.

25 Economic and social cost Ten Peacekeeping operations mandated by the UN Security Council deployed to countries where natural resources played a key role in the conflict cost US$ 35 billion (half total peacekeeping budget ever spent) Conflict increases women and children’s vulnerability to gender based violence and rape

26 Future research

27 Vulnerability assessments Determinants of vulnerability – Elderly, women & children are particularly at risk from impacts of agriculture and nutrition – Ability to access commodities and labour markets – Ability of communities to pool resources – Access to information and population health – Existence and effectiveness of national and international policies to sustain resources and livelihoods in vulnerable places (Barnett and Adger, 2007)

28 Consequences of livelihood insecurity Need to understand o how people construct their livelihoods o choices made when faced when change in the past & choices likely to be made when livelihoods are threatened o local peace movements (Barnett and Adger, 2007)

29 Role of institutions “Ritualised practices that maintain social cohesion and collective and peaceful responses to changes”...ranging from marriage to the UN (Barnett and Adger, 2007) Research needed into the capacity of States and other institutions to protect livelihoods and sustain peace Challenge in terms of State revenues and company profits from unsustainable activities e.g. more intensive extraction & insufficient funds for livelihood protection& security

30 Good governance UNESCAP, What is Good Governance?, 2011

31 Good governance Communication – open flow of knowledge Democracy Empowerment Gender equity Human rights

32 Governance Governance assures that: corruption is minimized the views of minorities are taken into account the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society. UNESCAP, What is Good Governance?, 2011

33 Government responses Burkina Faso, the Gambia and Mauritania recognised security implications of climate change and natural resource conflicts in their national policies and adaptation plans. Other countries reflected these risks in their national security and defence plans.

34 Conclusion Need: – good governance – real commitment to poverty alleviation – protection of human rights – promotion of equity (including gender equity) and social inclusion (dispossessed and marginalised) – build capacity and capabilities of individuals and institutions for global well-being and zero-based tolerance for violence

35 Future? Environmental protection Environmental protection Social Development Economic Development Economic Development Rights, equity, social inclusion Governance Poverty alleviation

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