Climate security in the dry corridor of Latin America
The evidence on conflicts around the world since the turn of the century points to a simple conclusion: conflicts, grievances and insecurities are increasingly being affected by changing climates, environmental degradation, food insecurity, and the struggle to control a finite pool of natural resources. This paper aims to understand the linkages between climate, conflict, agriculture, and migration in the Central American Dry Corridor and offer a road map for the region while emphasizing the role of research and development. We do this by first clarifying what climate security means and how it links to risk and resilience (introduction). We then present causal impact pathways to describe how climate exacerbates drivers of conflict and insecurity (Section 1). We continue with a social media and policy coherence analysis to explain how the linkages between climate and conflict are perceived by the public (Section 2) and represented in public policies (Section 3). We then describe the linkages between climate and security for Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala (Section 4). This is followed by an overview of indicators summarizing the state of climate security in Central America and the Dry Corridor and a discussion of the limitations of such indicators (Section 5). We then present existing research for development efforts and discuss their potential to contribute to climate security by mitigating its drivers (Section 6). We offer entry points for improving climate security in the Central American Dry Corridor (Section 7) and finally, Section 8 proposes entry points for incorporating climate security dimensions into rural development and regional and national security policy and research agendas.The paper shows that interconnected climate, security, and migration crises are being managed as separate challenges in the Central American Dry Corridor. Through well-targeted support that complements humanitarian, political, social, and security-focused solutions, agricultural research and development can help rural populations adapt to and mitigate climate change impacts, stabilize agriculture-based livelihoods, and increase peace and security. A spatial analysis of drivers of conflict demonstrates clearly that climate has the potential to exacerbate conflict, insecurity and migration. However, a social media and policy coherence analysis shows the disconnected discourses of climate and security both in the public discourse and in policies. The analysis of peace, security and climate risk indicators situates the Central American Dry Corridor countries vis-a-vis other countries globally and uncovers the disconnect among the indicators in terms of climate security, human wellbeing, and peace. In this fragmented context, we argue that investing in agriculture research and development, with its focus on enhancing resilience of agricultural production and rural livelihoods in response to climate change impacts, can contribute to reducing conflict and out-migration.