Eco-eco seminar series - "Ecosystem services, conflict and adaptation in a changing environment: the case of Niger"

Del 13/06/2012 al 13/06/2012

Julie Snorek (PhD ICTA-UAB and University of United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)).

June 13th from 14:00h to 15:30 (Aula Q4/1003 Escola d'Enginyeria building)

In the Sahel, demographic pressure, land degradation, pluralistic institutions, and climatic variability produce broad-reaching impacts on social-ecological systems - namely the gradual loss of the ecosystem services that directly support rural livelihoods. Hydro-climate hazards such as drought promote the use of extreme adaptations, including divergence between alternative users of natural resources such as pastoralists and agriculturalists. The history and consequences of conflictive and divergent adaptation mechanisms are examined in this case.

The water-stressed region of Tahoua Niger exhibits high levels of human insecurity. This study, part of the Climate Change Hydro-Conflict and Human Security (CLICO) three-year European Commission 7th Framework research project, examines the institutional and individual modes of adaptation to climate hazards for two traditionally divergent groups - pastoralists and agriculturalists. The investigation charts 3 decades of rainfall-based ecosystem changes as well as the evolution of small-scale conflicts or disputes (both non-violent and violent) to analyze the evolution of divergence and cooperative adaptations.

Initial findings show that both sedentary and nomadic groups are adapting to hydro-related hazards by altering their livelihoods (through agro-pastoralism or migration) and negotiating resource access, sometimes through violence. While the national and customary institutions hold promise of supporting cooperation, conflict still prevails where adaptation mechanisms clash and the various governance institutions fail.

Speaker Bio:
Julie is a PhD Researcher at the University of United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and a doctoral candidate at ICTA in Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB). Previously, she investigated environmentally induced migration in northern Niger as part of her masterís studies at SIT Graduate Institute. Currently, her research explores how changes in ecosystem services, social vulnerability and water governance are contributing to tensions or cooperation between herders and farmers in the context of climate change in Niger.

Col·laboradors: Isabelle Anguelovski

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