The Hamburg group helped organize a panel on environmental conflicts and represented three presentations at the conference. Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran got everything started with a speech describing his work on climate change and migration. Instead of understanding climate-based refugees primarily as a threat to international security, he argued, it is more important to limit climate risks and, as a preventative measure, reinforce the abilities of the communities that will be affected. Networks of immigrants can also help in the process, by supporting development in their home nations.
Postdoc Michael Link presented his model of the conflicts over water between the countries bordering the Nile, which have been affected by climate change. In the region, there exists a complex interaction between climate factors and political changes, which influence the division of the Nile’s waters. How the individual states decide between cooperating with their neighbors and pushing through their own interests depends mainly on their short-term socio-political considerations, Link showed.
Doctoral student Janpeter Schilling discussed the roll of climate change on land use conflicts in Kenya in his presentation. In doing so, he relied upon impressions and experiences that he has recently won in the course of a research stay in East Africa.