Climate change, water resources and conflict in the Niger River Basin

This research explores the consequences of climate change and climate variability in the Niger River Basin for human security and the risk of conflict.


We are trying to understand the linkages between climate, conflict, human security, adaptation and resilience in a multi-scale study that includes three case studies of water management and climate impacts on the River Niger. Two of the case studies are in Mali and one is in Nigeria. The River Niger traverses a region of the Sahel that has experienced significant reductions in rainfall and river flow since the late 1960s as well as extreme rainfall events and significant flooding impacts in recent years. The impacts of future climate change in the region are highly uncertain. Our research assesses the tensions and risks of conflict associated with water resources and climate stresses, as well as the impacts on the livelihoods and human security of vulnerable populations. The significance of climate stresses is carefully assessed in the context of other key social and political factors in the generation of tension and conflict. We will consider the role of adaptation, institutions and conflict resolution mechanisms as sources of resilience. 

The research is funded by USAID and is a collaborative effort between national and international academic and NGO partners. The project duration is between November 2010 and December 2011.

Watch a video of lead researcher  Marisa Goulden and colleagues from International Alert discussing the research findings in an event hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center in November 2011:

Duration: November 2010 to December 2011

for further information see


Project partners include:

University Abdou Moumouni dioffo, Niamey, Niger

Nick Brooks - Independent Consultant

Download the final project reports here:

Niger climate change water and conflict, full report, English (70 pages)555.05 KB
Niger climate change water and conflict, summary report, English (8 pages)178.68 KB
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