Climate-related security risks in the SADC region
SIPRI Topical Backgrounder
Southern Africa is among the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change. Climate-related impacts such as droughts, floods and tropical cyclones undermine development and reduce the availability of natural resources, affecting the majority of the region's population. Further, climate change can increase the risk of insecurity and violent conflict, when its impacts interact with social, political and economic stresses to compound vulnerabilities.
As this SIPRI Topical Backgrounder shows, SADC mainly recognizes climate-related security risks implicitly in its mandate, policy documents and meeting notes, with a few exceptions that make the climate-security connection more explicit. Its responses to such risks are also highly sectoral, with limited capacity and resources for effective implementation. To date, SADC has no explicit action plan or policy framework targeted at addressing climate-related security risks. There is a clear need for SADC to step up its understanding and assessment of climate-related security risks, including coordination between different sectors, in order to mitigate and prevent them.