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Climate Change And Development Consultation On Key Researchable Issues Cross-Sectoral Issues Section 3.1. Security

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Document begins: CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTATION ON KEY RESEARCHABLE ISSUES CROSS-SECTORAL ISSUES SECTION 3.1. SECURITY LAUREL MURRAY Saleemul Huq and Hannah Reid Climate Change Group International Institute for Environment and Development 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DD, UK Tel: (+44 20) 7388 2117 Fax: (+44 20) 7388 2826 Email: Climate Change and Security The Ecology of Conflict In 1985, the UN Secretary General, Boutros-Boutros Ghali, famously predicted that "the next war in the Middle East will be fought over water, not politics". Time has shown that the popular "Water War" hypothesis was too simplistic and never materialised; nonetheless, it represents a paradigm shift of our understanding of conflict and security to include the role of ecological factors. The fear that environment and resource scarcity will directly and exclusively lead to armed conflict, specifically interstate war, now seems unlikely. What is possible, however, and perhaps more frightening, it that ecological factors indirectly lead to conflict by increasing social and political unrest. This "ecological variable", when combined with other factors such as ethnicity and religion, political instabilities, poverty and crime, offer a much more comprehensive understanding of conflict (Porto, 2002). It further expands the security debate, particularly in conflict-prone ...

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