Examining the relationship between environmental factors and conflict in pastoralist areas of East Africa

Ayana, Essayas K.; Ceccato, Pietro; Fisher, Jonathan R. B.; DeFries, Ruth
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SourceWeb of Science
Volume / Issue557
Pages601 - 611
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Publication DateJUL 1 2016
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AbstractThe eastern Africa region has long been known for recurring drought, prolonged civil war and frequent pastoral conflicts. Several researchers have suggested that environmental factors can trigger conflicts among pastoralist communities, but quantitative support for this hypothesis is lacking. Here we use 29 years of georeferenced precipitation and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data to evaluate long term trends in scarcity of water and forage for livestock, and then ask whether these environmental stressors have any predictive power with respect to the location and timing of 11 years of conflict data based on Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) and Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). Results indicate that environmental stressors were only partly predictive of conflict events. To better understand the drivers behind conflict, the contribution of other potential stressors to conflict need to be systematically quantified and be taken into consideration.
Created: 12/14/2017 10:29 AM (ET)
Modified: 12/14/2017 10:29 AM (ET)
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