Climate Change and Conflict in the Ruzizi Plain (DRC)

Climate Change and Conflict in the Ruzizi Plain (DRC)

Research Report

This report is based on a case study on the links between climate change and conflict dynamics in the Ruzizi Plain, South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The study has been conducted as part of the interdisciplinary KLIMSEC project. The aim of this case study is to provide contextual, empirical knowledge by focusing on the way local communities experience the complex interlinkages between climate change­ related environmental distress and conflict dynamics in the Ruzizi Plain located in South Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – a region which has for decades been affected by varying degrees of instability and insecurity.

The report discusses the way in which climate change effects play out locally in South Kivu’s Ruzizi Plain, and how they interact with, add to, or alter existing conflict dynamics in this territory. It has found that both sudden onset climate change impacts, such as flooding, and slow onset impacts, such as drought and changing vegetation patterns, aggravate livelihood vulnerabilities and existing tensions over resources within Ruzizi Plain communities.

by Emery Mudinga, Godefroid Muzalia, Josaphat Musamba, Patient Polepole, Tomas Van Acker

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