|Era of Wars Triggered by Climate Change|
Sudan: Darfur Conflict Heralds Era of Wars Triggered by Climate Change,
UN Report Warns.
The conflict in Darfur has been driven by climate change and environmental degradation, which threaten to trigger new wars unless more is done to contain the damage. Rainfall is down by 30% over 40 years and the Sahara advancing by over a mile every year. Tensions over disappearing pasture and evaporating water holes threaten to reignite the half-century war between north and south Sudan. UNEP found there could be a drop of up to 70% in crop yields in the most vulnerable areas. As the desert moves south there is a limit to what systems can sustain, and so one group displaces another. Estimates of the dead from the Darfur conflict, range from 200,000 to 500,000. The UNEP study suggests the true genesis of the conflict pre-dates 2003 and is to be found in failing rains and creeping desertification. The desert in northern Sudan has advanced southwards by 60 miles over the past 40 years; rainfall has dropped by 16%-30%. Crop yields could drop by 70%. Amid the diverse social and political causes, the Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising from climate change. The Darfur conflict has forced more than two million people into refugee camps. Deforestation has been accelerated while underground aquifers are being drained. No peace will last without sustained investment in containing environmental damage and adapting to climate change. Mr. Steiner said: "Simply to return people to the situation they were in before is a high-risk strategy. A common approach is supposed to be negotiated under UN auspices at the end of the year."
June 23, 2007 Guardian (London)