19 January 2022

New report: climate security in the Bay of Bengal

The Bay of Bengal (BoB) region is emerging as an important focal point for climate security risks. This is largely due to a multi-layered interplay of geopolitical, geostrategic, and climate-related regional dynamics. It forms the final leg between West and East Asia. It is 2.173 million sq km large; accounts for approximately 4.7% of the global economy; and a quarter of the world’s population lives along its coastline. At the catchment of a critical global chokepoint—the Malacca Strait—the BoB is an important sub-region in the international connectivity discourse

The region is one of the most climate-vulnerable in the world. Its strategic, political, social and economic faultlines are also extensive. Together they create fertile ground for volatile security dynamics, social friction and violent conflict. It is a textbook example of the complex relationship between climate change and security, and how an aggregate of both could create emerging challenges for policy-planners.

This Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) - Clingendael's PSI report studies the impacts of climate change on transnational and intra-country conflict faultlines, as well as strategic and military dynamics in the BoB by overlaying climate threat profiles over security- and conflict-centric analysis. The broader objective is to arrive at a better understanding of how climate threats interact with conflict and security in the region.

The report has six key findings:

  1. Climate threats could intensify regional inter-state military competition and conflict
  2. Climate-induced migration will be a major conflict driver
  3. Land loss, exacerbated by climate threats, will be a key conflict driver
  4. Climate threats will affect the overall resilience of displaced communities
  5. Frequent adverse weather events pose a major long-term threat to national governance and security 6. Strategic assets in the BoB region are highly vulnerable to climate threats

Read the full report here. 

IPCS- PSI will launch the report on 15 February (11.00 - 12.30 CET; 15.30 - 17.00 IST) and discuss the report’s key findings and its policy implications. Please register via zoom. After registering you will receive a confirmation mail with the link to enter the webinar room. We are looking forward to welcoming you to the event. 

Photo credit: Shahnoor Habib Munmun, Wikimedia Commons.