New research focusing on the Bay of Bengal suggests the region is an important nexus for climate security risk.
Home to approximately 25% of the world’s population, the region, which covers 2 million square kilometers is a complex arrangement of climate-related geopolitical and strategic dynamics along the coastline that is shared by Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia.
The region’s climate is vulnerable and livelihoods are adversely affected by increased pollution, more frequent and intense climate-related disasters, and migration. Political and social frictions offer the opportunity for volatile relationships and possible conflict.
Researchers suggest: “It is a textbook example of the complex relationship between climate change and security, and how an aggregate of both could create emerging challenges for policy-planners.”
The study has been produced by India’s Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) and the Netherlands’ Clingendael Institute. It examines the impacts of climate change on transnational and intra-country conflict faultlines and the strategic and military dynamics in the region. It combines climate threat profiles and security- and conflict-centric analysis to better understand how climate threats interact with conflict and security in the region.
The report examines natural phenomena that impact security such as loss of natural habitats, climate-induced disaster. It also provides a deep-dive into each state’s principle policies with respect to state security and climate security.
The report has six key findings:
- Climate threats could intensify regional inter-state military competition and conflict
- Climate-induced migration will be a major conflict driver
- Land loss, exacerbated by climate threats, will be a key conflict driver
- Climate threats will affect the overall resilience of displaced communities
- Frequent adverse weather events pose a major long-term threat to national governance and security
- Strategic assets in the BoB region are highly vulnerable to climate threats