B. Soumaré/Oxfam

Climate and Conflict

CGIAR’s Contribution to Peace

Conflicts of different intensities and types are driven by multidimensional interactions between environmental, economic, social, and institutional/political factors. Climate change is increasingly recognized to exacerbate the risk of conflict emergence.

Via cascading and interacting effects across socio-economic and political systems, climate-related factors impact conflict dynamics in multiple ways. Hence the concept of climate security, i.e. climate change-induced security risks for human and natural systems, needs to be considered in conflict management and strategic policymaking process.

Until recently, issues around conflict and fragility have been addressed from a symptomatic rather than holistic perspective. The need to integrate climate change and food systems thinking into conflict management is progressively being acknowledged by academia, development, and governmental agencies. Understanding and systematically analyzing the root causes and the role climate security play for conflict and peace is key to plan and implement interventions addressing and preventing conflict.

Food systems, food security, and livelihoods are interconnected drivers within the pathways linking climate to conflict. Working in conflict-prone areas most affected by both, climate change and fragile institutional/political systems, CGIAR’s research on agricultural productivity, natural resource management, climate science, livelihoods and food security, youth, and gender, markets, and value chains, are essential components of the framework of climate and conflict. It, therefore, helps to build and maintain more food systems and climate-smart peace.

CGIAR's work addresses the various impact pathways, i.e. drivers linking climate and conflict, from different angles and via multidisciplinary approaches, contributing directly and indirectly to climate security and peacebuilding.


To understand direct and indirect impact pathways, predict potential pathway outcomes for future scenarios to prevent conflict development, and identify, help to adapt and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable groups and areas to climate-related conflict.


Development of tools and open-source data platforms contributing to conflict prevention. These include climate-smart agriculture tools, e.g. the climate-smart village model, or climate services such as weather-based crop insurance and forecast-based financing.


To stimulate exchange between international and national humanitarian, research, and governmental institutions, helping to integrate research outcomes on food systems and climate science in humanitarian relief and resilience programming.

Environmental Peacebuilding

To design interventions and programs that harness synergies between climate, environment, food security, and peace by aligning objectives and incentives.

CGIAR Climate Security Explorer

The CGIAR Climate Security Explorer is a searchable database on CGIAR’s contribution to peace. Choose search options based on the conflict driver, region, or country of interest by selecting single or multiple criteria in each filter.

Use the visualizations of driver interactions to learn more and get inspired for your search.

The fact that climate exacerbates the risk for conflicts is increasingly recognized in academia, development, and policy, a common understanding of mechanisms and drivers is however still lacking. Establishing impact pathways between climate drivers and conflict has been challenging: Simultaneously acting drivers of conflict interact in different, sometimes opposed directions depending on geographical/spatial, temporal, social, and political dimensions. Conflicts itself are products of reciprocal feedback loops increasing vulnerabilities and potentially amplifying existing or creating new conflicts. Climate change adaptation and mitigation and development interventions often stimulate peace, but can also prompt new conflicts.

While the exact impact pathways and causal relationships for climate-induced conflicts remain controversial, various scientific reviews have come to a consent that: The link between climate and conflict will most likely materialize in regions that a) are highly exposed to climate change and variability, b) have, due to historical, political, social or geographical reasons, a high risk for (violent) conflicts and c) are agriculture-dependent.

Approaches addressing both, the impact of climate variability on food insecurity and strengthening government institutions are seen as instrumental for preventing conflicts and contributing to the prospects of peace. These approaches are central in CGIAR’s work.

Our portfolio analysis identified research, directly and indirectly, contributing to the prospects of peace. We first reviewed general literature on climate-related conflicts to establish a set of drivers relevant within the climate security nexus. We then conducted a keyword search on climate security-related drivers on different CGIAR platforms and repositories, to identify and extract key drivers and conflicts and from research items contributing to climate security in different ways .

Explore CGIAR Climate Security portfolio

Choose options of interest (driver, conflict, country)

View research outputs in the table below

Download research outputs

Find here definitions for drivers , conflicts and contribution categories .

Find your data

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G. Smith/CIAT


Webinar Summit

CGIAR Webinar Series on Climate Security

The CGIAR hosted webinar series of live and interactive sessions to highlight the importance of connecting science and policy in the context of climate security to ensure sustainable natural resource management and resilient food systems as a foundation for peace.