Integrated theory of hydroclimatic security, CLICO Working paper 13

M Goulden

Research output: Working paper

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This paper presents the updated conceptual framing of the CLICO research project, and evaluates the contribution of the CLICO research findings to theory on hydro-climatic security. We draw out the theoretical findings from twenty outputs of the five CLICO research work packages including twelve case studies in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Sahel region, where climate related water stresses threaten insecurity. We relate these findings to seven research questions. We then provide an updated conceptual framework of hydro-climatic security based on the findings and a summary of the key theoretical findings of the CLICO research. We find that climate change and water related stressors may exacerbate human insecurity either directly by adding to existing sources of human insecurity, or through maladaptive policies and interventions designed by governments in the name of adaptation to climate change. Factors that influence conflict situations and human security are multi-scalar and in most cases, more dependent on political, social and economic conditions rather than environmental factors. Conflict that is severe and prolonged is a significant driver of vulnerability to hydro-climate stressors. Cooperation, and more specifically coordination and communication between groups and institutions is seen as an important contributor to adaptive capacity. Without this divergent adaptation can occur, where one individual or group’s adaptation can reduce another’s adaptive capacity. Some debate exists as to the desirability of state intervention in adaptation and what constitutes adaptive capacity. Adaptation planning can be conflictive and present risks to human security when it fails to take into account different perspectives, values and knowledge bases and is open to manipulation by state actors. Case study evidence also supports arguments in favour of a balance between incrementalism and transformation, since transformational adaptation risks exacerbating some types of human insecurities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCLICO website
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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