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Characterising the relationship between climate shocks, lake drying and conflict in the Lake Chad Basin

Okpara, Uche Thaddeus (2016) Characterising the relationship between climate shocks, lake drying and conflict in the Lake Chad Basin. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis provides a basin-level analysis of climate shocks and conflict links, utilising livelihoods and vulnerability toolboxes, including a newly assembled conflict dataset that captures communal, rebel and water conflicts in four Lake Chad Basin (LCB) zones. The thesis draws on multi-method approaches to assess: (i) the manner in which lake drying shapes livelihood drawbacks and opportunities, (ii) the directionality of occupation-based vulnerability to double exposures, (iii) climate conflict interactions in the context of contextual vulnerability and lake drying, and (iv) adaptation-water-conflict integration need for the LCB. Key findings reveal that: (i) asset holdings from unstable water-based activities are a medium through which drying influences livelihoods, (ii) pastoralists are more vulnerable to double exposures because they have limited social networks and income strategies, (iii) rainfall anomalies have dampening effects on conflict and lake drying does not represent a sufficient mediator for climate conflict links. Effects of rainfall anomalies on conflict are more pronounced in the presence of political exclusion in the Chad and Nigeria zones which occupy large areas of the LCB, (iv) policy initiatives increasingly acknowledge the need to preserve the Lake waters, yet initiatives that explicitly integrate adaptation, water and conflict concerns are only beginning to emerge. Two new documents indicating integration have been developed between 2015 and 2016. This thesis is the first to develop a new set of integrated vulnerability tools for use in framing climate conflict vulnerabilities in water scarce environments. It provides a piece of empirically-rich understanding that suggests that climate conflict studies that fail to account for vulnerability forces risk a critical misrepresentation and misunderstanding. The results offer an empirical case to buttress the theoretical critiques already available in the literature. The thesis concludes by outlining recommendations and ways forward that better integrate LCB-related adaptation, water governance and conflict management goals.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Climate shocks, climate conflict, lake drying, water governance, double exposures, contextual vulnerability, Lake Chad
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Sustainability Research Institute (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr Uche Okpara
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2016 12:50
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 00:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15394

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