Reports and papers

Clingendael Report: Land degradation as underestimated conflict risk factor?

03 Feb 2014 - 13:23
Source: Daouda Guirou/WFP

Land degradation is increasingly recognised as global challenge and is even pushed for as candidate for a (post-2015) Sustainable Development Goal. In Africa the ‘quality of soil’ has been linked to the emergence of conflict, inter alia since it aggravates local food and water scarcity.

This Clingendael Report finds, amongst others, that accurate assessments on land degradation and efforts to restore lands are lacking to date. On the basis of a literature review and 4 small case studies, the study concludes that it is nevertheless likely that land degradation can operate as threat amplifier, particularly when it is combined with rapid population growth, poverty, little opportunity to migrate and bad governance. From this perspective, efforts to get a more accurate insight into the scope of the land degradation problem and its implications for human security are long overdue.

The findings of this report will be discussed in an expert seminar in March at the Clingendael Institute.