Climate Security Project in Central Africa - an in-depth assessment of climate-related security risks in the sub-region

United Nations Office in Central Africa

Libreville, , GA

Result of Service

By the end of the consultancy, the consultant should produce the following:

– One draft comprehensive risk assessment report with draft executive summary, and, following review by UNOCA, the CSM and DPPA, one final comprehensive report with executive summary, and power point/ presentation materials.

– Input papers on a sub-set of the key priorities outlined in the scoping study, each summarising the findings from in-depth research as well as from respective field visits; each report should also include good practices, lessons-learned, a detailed account of stakeholders and a set of recommendations to UNOCA and stakeholders in the Central African sub-region.

– Develop some options/focused recommendations that could help frame a regional strategy on Climate Security to be presented to the ECCAS Commission

Work Location



Expected duration

Nine months

Duties and Responsibilities

UNOCA’s mandate related to climate security: In two Presidential Statements from August 2018 (S/PRST/2018/17) and September 2019 (S/PRST/2019/10), respectively, the Security Council requested UNOCA to take into consideration climate change, ecological changes and natural disasters among other factors affecting the stability of the Central African sub-region. Subsequently, in November 2019, the 11 member States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) adopted a ministerial declaration during the 49th United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) meeting held in Luanda, Angola, requesting UNOCA, alongside the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to support efforts in the sub-region to address the impact of climate change on peace and security.

Climate change and its security implications in Central Africa: UNOCA’s geographic coverage is vast, with 6,667,087 km2, comprising a variety of climate zones. The direct and indirect effects of climate stressors and shocks and the relative exposure of people, livelihoods and assets vary greatly across the region. Moreover, existing vulnerabilities and coping capacities of people, States and systems vary, resulting in different security implications on the ground. While there is a consensus that Central Africa is among the regions in the world most affected by climate change, research into the security implications of climate change there remains limited.

Climate Security project: UNOCA has developed a two-year project with the objective of strengthening the capacity of UNOCA and regional partners for analysis, early warning and prevention in relation to the impacts of climate change on peace and security in Central Africa. The Climate Security Mechanism (CSM), a joint initiative by DPPA, UNDP and UNEP, and the Central and Southern Africa Division (CSAD) in DPPA are close partners in this project. The project is being implemented in three phases:

Phase 1 completed a scoping study in December 2020, which identified a set of thematic issues essential to understanding climate-related security risks in Central Africa, taking into account specificities of countries in the sub-region, under each of the following items: i) land conflict related to rising food insecurity; ii) pastoralism-related insecurity and conflict; iii) pressure on the coast and maritime insecurity; iv) urbanisation and insecurity in cities; and v) rise of non-state armed groups (NSAGs).

Phase 2, to be conducted over a period of nine months (April – December 2021, TBC), will deepen research into these priority issues through carrying out an in-depth, gender-sensitive climate security risk assessment, and provide actionable recommendations for risk prevention and management in Central Africa. The risk assessment will be conducted jointly with key stakeholders in Central Africa, in particular ECCAS, the relevant UN Country Teams and peacekeeping missions (MINUSCA and MONUSCO), as well as with the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and research entities in the sub-region.

Phase 3 will translate the findings and recommendations from the risk assessment into action and focus on supporting stakeholders in Central Africa in reinforcing their relevant capacities. The development of medium and long-term integrated strategies and action plans to prevent and manage climate-related security risks in the sub-region is envisioned

II. Scope of Work
Under the guidance of UNOCA, CSM and DPPA, the Consultant will lead the implementation of Phase 2. Envisioned for a duration of nine months, the Consultant will conduct an in-depth risk assessment, building on a subset of the areas identified by the scoping study in Phase 1 of this project. Regular consultations with a diverse set of stakeholders, in particular the ECCAS Secretariat, as well as field visits, are an integral part of this work. Geographic areas of focus for the research will be determined in consultation with UNOCA, CSM and DPPA.

To this end, the Consultant will be expected to perform the following duties:

i) In-depth risk assessment: Conduct a gender sensitive, in-depth assessment of climate-related security risks, focusing on a sub-set of the key thematic issues identified during the Phase 1 of the project (see above). The assessment will present an integrated analysis of the pathways through which climate change impacts peace and security in Central Africa, and include actionable recommendations for UNOCA and other stakeholders in the region, in particular the ECCAS and member States, to help prevent, mitigate and manage these risks; and identify good practices, opportunities, existing gaps, and lessons learned to date, to possibly frame elements of a regional strategy on climate security that could be presented to, and discussed with the sub-region. The consultant is expected to collaborate closely with the ECCAS secretariat, at strategic and technical levels, and ensure a strong focus on women and youth throughout the assessment.
ii) Field visits: Plan and conduct several field visits as part of the in-depth assessment, with the aim of deepening the understanding of climate-related security risks, consulting communities and civil society, and strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders. Each field visit is expected to be conducted with the participation of the ECCAS Commission, as well as relevant partners and will be dedicated to one (or more) key priorities identified through the scoping study. In this regard, the Consultant will reach out to relevant UN presences in the sub-region, at strategic and technical levels, to seek their collaboration and ensure that field visits are planned and conducted in a well-informed and co-ordinated manner. A participatory approach will help develop a solid foundation for coordinated and gender-sensitive efforts on climate security beyond the Phase 2 of this project. The feasibility of field visits will depend on COVID-19 developments in the region.
iii) Partnerships and consultations: Establish and maintain close partnerships with relevant UN and non-UN stakeholders across and beyond the sub-region, in particular the ECCAS Commission, national/local authorities, local civil society organisations, including women and youth groups, international/regional organisations, research institutions and universities, etc. Throughout all stages of this work, the consultant will work closely with UNOCA, CSM and DPPA and ensure they are up-to-date on the progress of the project

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:  An advanced degree in Political Science, International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Resolution or International Law is required.
Experience:  At least seven years of experience working on peace and security issues in academia, a think tank, national or local government, non-governmental organisation, regional or international organisation including the UN, African Union, Regional Economic Community (REC), is required.
 Experience working on peacebuilding, conflict prevention, stabilization or related fields is required.
 Experience working on the prevention or management of climate or environmental risks is desirable.
 Field experience in Sub-Saharan Africa, preferably Central Africa, is required.
 Proven experience in report writing in English, preferably for a policy think tank, UN, AU or REC, is required.
Language:  Full proficiency in English and French is required.