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The Climate Security-Mobility Nexus: Impact Pathways and Research Priorities

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  • This paper combines a qualitative literature review with a quantitative portfolio analysis to identify key impact pathways of the climate security-mobility nexus and formulate recommendations for future research and policy interventions.

  • Four key impact pathways that connect climate change and variability, mobility, and conflict are identified and explored in greater detail: conflict as a result of climate related disaster displacement, conflict as a result of scarcity-related mobility, conflict as a result of abundance-related migration, and conflict as a result of pre-existing tensions and migratory patterns interacting with climate change and/or variability.

  • Based on an extensive portfolio review exercise, CGIAR publications that were identified as in some way working on the climate-migration-security nexus generally did not explore potential conflict links and risks, did not operationalize or articulate the benefits of climate-smart practices for peace and security, and displayed a notable research bias toward Africa.

  • Research recommendations involve better linking the climate security-mobility nexus to land, water, and food systems, while filling knowledge gaps that exist along the nexus, centering the voices of vulnerable communities throughout the lifecycle of future research projects, and employing mixed-methods research approaches.

  • Policy recommendations call for interventions that pre-emptively accommodate climate-related migration flows, and combining large-scale transformative political solutions to reduce inequality and poverty with local-level interventions that boost the adaptive capacity of vulnerable households to facilitate either in situ adaptation or safe migration.