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It all Connects: The Connection between Climate Change and Violent Extremism

It is essential to Routinise and institutionalise attention to climate change in security institutions

(Editors Note:  Everything connects to everything. No longer can we look at things as independent of one another.  New findings based on the inter-connectedness and interdependence of all systems proves and attests the undeniable fact that everything impacts everything.  The failure of understanding this NATURAL PRINCIPLE will result in the constant breakdown of all systems and….. the extinction of our own species.  It is absolutely essential that we understand this and act on it.)

Climate change indirectly increases the risk of violent extremism, write General (ret.) Tom Middendorp and Reinier Bergema in their PSI policy brief The Warning Signs are Flashing Red: The interplay between climate change and violent extremism in the Western Sahel.

Development and security cannot do without the other. It is not enough to counter violent extremism by addressing the symptoms; understanding and focusing on root causes, in regions such as the Western Sahel, is essential to countering violent extremism.

Countries in the Western Sahel suffer from the consequences of climate change: increasing droughts and water shortages make it harder for 50 million people – who depend on agriculture and livestock for their survival – to support their families. Joining a non-state armed group, for income and food, becomes ‘a tempting, or sometimes even the only, alternative.’

To address these challenges, the authors make five recommendations:

  1. Routinise and institutionalise attention to climate change in security institutions
  2. Factor in (counter)violent extremism and counterterrorism into climate change efforts
  3. Create a comprehensive early warning mechanism
  4. Ensure comprehensive engagements: terrorist threats are not only a military issue, addressing economic and financial sources, online recruitment, supply chains, and climate change is essential for strong stabilisation efforts
  5. Improve regional cooperation

Source: Planetary Security Initiative

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