Kabul, 9 March 2023 (TDI): The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) prepared a climate-related security risk factsheet on Afghanistan.
It was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Climate, Peace, and Security fact sheet aims to generate reliable, timely, and actionable information and analysis of peace and security risks emanating from climate change.
Climate change has affected Afghanistan, making it vulnerable to extreme weather events and varying temperatures.
The factors, coupled with many decades-long wars, humanitarian emergencies, economic constraints, and a Taliban takeover in 2021, the country is faced with unprecedented predicaments.
There has been a visible increase in poverty and food insecurity eroding the resilience of Afghan communities, households, and individuals. Extreme weather events and security risks are menacing the Afghan livelihood.
The fact sheet has also highlighted Climate Change as an admonitory factor contributing to rampant internal displacement and evolving migration patterns.
The speedy urbanization and displacements are causing food and livelihood insecurity overburdening existing environmental resources. The dismal situation has also been jeopardizing the life quality of marginalized groups, women and girls in particular.
The security landscape of the country continues to be a hostage to warring armed actors. The climate crisis can likely intensify local conflicts over water and land resources.
The rivalry to compete against ownership of local natural resources has shredded the social fabric of the country, with the social exclusion of marginalized groups.
The absence of a sovereign governance system in Afghanistan has amplified the political and economic inequality in the country.
Recommendation Actions for Afghanistan
The report made recommendations to ameliorate the peace and security risks in the region. It proposed mandating the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to assimilate climate-related risk analysis.
The UNAMA will require capacity building for mission staff and regular assessments of climate-related security risks, supported by the appointment of a dedicated climate security adviser.
The UN Security Council should apprise the members and map out guidelines for long-term planning to support stabilization and build resilience in Afghan communities and individuals.
UNAMA and the UN team should closely collaborate with local communities to tackle climate-related security risks directly linked to livelihood.
The cooperation should have a prime objective to improve community resilience, and enhance sustainable natural resource management, particularly in agriculture.
The initiative should mandate an enabling social setting for women, girls, and female-headed households. A maintained and credible disaster information system should be established for early warning of famine and droughts.
The UN and its member states should enable and facilitate Afghan representation in climate and environmental platforms.
UNAMA should also delineate a road map for effective negotiations between the de facto authorities in Afghanistan and downstream riparian states over transboundary water issues.
Since 2021, UNAMA and other UN specialized agencies have made remarkable efforts to provide emergency assistance and humanitarian support to Afghanistan through the Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan and the Transitional Engagement Framework.
The repressive policies of the Taliban have dampened the scope for medium- to long-term planning, financing, and programming in addressing climate and environmental challenges.
Therefore, it is recommended that UNAMA should assist and continue its efforts for climate adaptation with local communities and vulnerable groups.