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Launch Event - Shoring up Stability in the Lake Chad Region: Addressing Climate and Fragility Risks

15 May 2019
Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, Stockholm

The Lake Chad Basin is currently suffering one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises with approximately 10.7 million people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. Over the past two years a team of experts led by adelphi has been conducting an assesment of the climate and fragility risks affecting the region in order to identify responses which can address the linked causes and drivers of the crisis.

The new research finds that contrary to popular beliefs, the lake is not shrinking. But that climate change nevertheless poses a profound and far-reaching challenge to stability. In the in-depth problem solving session, at which the report will be officially launched, experts from the region alongside development policy makers will draw on the newly available evidence to debate the different and connected dimensions of risk and assess the merits or a number of specific responses.

Climate change is having profoundly adverse impacts on the conflict in Lake Chad, intensifying existing dynamics and creating new risks. It is not an alleged shrinking of the lake, but rather the high levels rainfall and temperature variability that are undermining people’s lives and livelihoods. And climate projections predict that weather conditions will only become more extreme and more unpredictable. The resulting uncertainty means that those dependent on the lake no longer know what to plant and when, and when to switch from one livelihood to another.

Yet efforts to address the humanitarian crisis, promote stability and even make steps towards sustainable development pay little heed to climate change and these linked dynamics.

Based on the findings of the new assessment, Shoring up Stabilty, it is the aim of the launch event to shine a light on the specific climate change and fragility risks affecting the region and the need for responses in the region to take account of these risks. Failure to do so has been proven to increase these risks further. Yet addressing these risks provides an opportunity to ensure responses are sustainable, that future risks can be prevented and that the conflict trap can ultimately be broken.

Key questions to be discussed at the event are:

  • What are the key challenge arising from the convergence of climate change and fragility in the region?
  • To what extent are these risks being acknowledged in responses to the crisis on the ground?
  • How specifically can addressing climate change promote peace and stability? What kind of entry points can address the security, development and climatic challenges together?
  • What is the value of a climate-fragility risk assessment to conflict prevention, risk management and development? What are the challenges/limitations?

The discussion will be led by the local and climate change experts from whose research the report is drawn. It will be facilitated by the lead of the Lake Chad risk assessment project.


  • Ulrika Modéer, Assistant Administrator & Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP
  • Chitra Nagarajan, Independent Conflict Analyst, Nigeria (lead conflict researcher)
  • Florence Sylvestre, Directeur de Recherche, CEREGE (lead climate and hydrology researcher)
  • Mamtsai Yagai, UNDP Cameroon (local research lead, Cameroon)

The discussion will be moderated by Janani Vivekananda (Senior Adviser and Project Lead, adelphi).

Each discussant will provide a concise 5 minute statement based on the guiding questions above. There will then follow a moderated discussion amongst the discussants to get into the details of the issue, and then an hour for an open discussion with the audience.