Environmental Security of sub-saharan Africa and Beyond (ENSAB)
Explain your project in details:
The main objective of this research project is to contribute to the understanding of the role of climate change in exacerbating and changing the nature of security threats to sub-saharan Africa and its neighbouring regions. In order to do so, it seeks to foster the indispensable engagement of the social sciences in the study of the impacts of climate change on societies in general, and its implications for security in particular. Concretely, we will do this by investigating the variety of the political impacts of climate change and their influence on the changing geopolitical context in which Africa must operate. The project will also seek to understand how these different threats intersect and mutually influence each other. Indeed, these different security impacts related to climate change are not isolated from each other, but deeply interconnected. This is the reason why our project will adopt a systemic approach to its understanding of security, organised around the concept of social tipping points in relation to climate change. This concept will be further developed and inform the study of the above-mentioned issues. Contrary to what is often assumed, the relationship between climate change and its social impacts is not linear. The limits of a societies resilience might be surpassed well before the climate tipping point is reached. Crucial to the understanding of social tipping points are the ways through which climate impacts are perceived and mitigated in a society. In order to assess the impacts of climate change on sub-saharan Africa security, as well as the geopolitical context in which it must operate, the concept of social tipping points will guide the research to map these geopolitical risks.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The project will bring together different methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to support its work. Though the project is predominantly a social sciences project, its methodology shall be interdisciplinary, borrowing methods from different disciplines. A stocktaking workshop will be held to evaluate the research undertaken in the meantime, as well as introduce the five focal areas of the ENSAB project to the research community. This event will take place after the first year of the project. In order to reach a broader audience then the scientific community, certain research findings will be presented by means of short documentary films that will feature on a YouTube channel. This can contribute to awareness raising on the severity of the impact of climate change. A website will serve as a platform for the dissemination of research results, and the project will also make use of social networks, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Academia, to disseminate its research findings to a wider audience. The gender dimension will definitely be accounted for in the research. Second, with regard to the activities, events and exchanges involved in the project, a particular attention will be paid to the gender balance, and every effort will be made to ensure a strong participation of female researchers and students in the different activities of the project. The management committee of the project will pay a particular attention to this dimension, as it is not uncommon for women to be under-represented in such activities and events. It should also be mentioned that gender balance will be achieved amongst the participants to the project. The project will study the impact of climate change on two issues which are addressed by various topics of Societal Challenge, as well as Secure societies: Protecting freedom and security of sub-saharan Africa and its citizen: radicalization-migration.
Sustainability and future plans
A key objective of the project is to foster social sciences research on the climate-security nexus in order to inform the policy debates on the new geopolitical threats facing Europe and its member states. In order to achieve this, the project will build upon and strengthen the existing affiliations with national and international research activities and networks working on issues related to climate change and security. Collaborations with these research consortia and policy initiatives will provide a foundation to the project, as well as key avenues to engage the stakeholders in the debate and disseminate our research results. The ENSAB project aims to collaborate with on-going research and policy initiatives, as well as actions that have been concluded but remain relevant in terms of networks and results. On-going initiatives with which the project shall connect include : The Hugo Observatory and EUBA are engaged in the H2020 Environmental geopolitics and diplomacy (EDGE) project, which seeks to foster academic cooperation on these issues. The Observatory on Climate and Security, hosted at IRIS, has been established by the French Ministry of Defence. The Observatory will run for four years, starting in 2017, and is headed by two key members of the project, François Gemenne (PI) and Bastien Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy (MECLEP) aims to contribute to the global knowledge base on the relationship between migration and environmental change, including climate change. The Platform on Disaster Displacement, which is tasked with the implementation of the Global Protection Agenda of the Nansen Initiative, will provide a key forum where our results on migration (WP3) can be shared with policy-makers and various stakeholders. Finally, the project will connect with the Planetary Security Initiative, launched by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2015.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Enagnon Brice Sohou is Director of Carto-SIG-Environment. He was born on 01 November 1987 in Cotonou, Benin. He holds a Bachelor of Science of Industrial Engineering, a Master of Science in physical geography, and a PhD in Geoscience Environmental of the University of Abomey Calavi in 2016. He has won several prizes and scientific awards internationally including the award for best scientific poster 2014 IRD in Benin. In 2016 he was selected by USAID, as one of the best young leaders in West Africa in Dakar and received a special distinction as a trainer in mapping. Author of dozens of scientific publications in journals with international connotations, he is a young researcher who marks his time in environmental geomatics in Benin and Africa. He is the author of the scientific book worsening climate in Benin and degradation of vegetation, published in Germany by the Francophone Academic Press. He is also passionate about sharing knowledge and scientific solidarity. On his account, 30 young Africans from different countries had the opportunity to train free of charge from 2013 to 2016 in the field of environmental geomatics, spatial planning, and statistical programming. Currently, he is member of the Youth Parliament of Wallonia for Sustainable Development (Belgium), local correspondent of the Hugo Observatory on environmental policies and migrations, he is a member of the Disaster, Conflict and Social Crisis Research Network (DCSCRN), Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), International Association of Climatology (AIC), the French Association for the Study of Soil (AFES), International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), the Scientific and Technical Association for Water and Environment (ASTEE), the Africa Groundwater Network (AGW-Net), and the Francophone Association of Physical Geography (AFGP). He mobilizes youth on the issue of climate change, water scarcity and sensitizes policy makers on the issues.