Video: Climate change, environmental degradation and conflict

Responding to environmental breakdown in areas affected by conflict

Children in dust storm in Ethiopia. Children in dust storm in Ethiopia. Photo © Anouk Delafortrie / EU/ECHO

Watch the video of the event on the overlapping crises of environmental degradation, climate change and violent conflict, and measures to mitigate against them.


Across the world, climate change and environmental degradation have sweeping impact on local communities. In areas affected by ongoing conflict like the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Middle East, they are causing mass food insecurity, displacing millions, undermining human security, and increasing the risks of further escalations. Meanwhile, conflict itself is diminishing people’s ability to adapt to major environmental challenges, such as desertification, salinisation and land erosion.

Interrupting this cycle of environmental breakdown and insecurity requires simultaneous and coordinated action in both the climate and the conflict pillars. This online event brought together high-level actors across policy, practice and academia, where they explored how to accelerate adaptation and ecosystem restoration, while working to end violent conflict and create sustainable peace, including reflections on how developments at COP27 can be harnessed to this end.

Climate change, environmental degradation and conflict

Responding to environmental breakdown in areas affected by conflict

Friday, 2 December 2022

14:00 – 15:30 CET (ics, ical)
Online panel discussion via Zoom

Introductory remarks by Andrea Meza Murillo, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification


  • Prof. Michael Obersteiner, Director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford
  • Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy, Director of the G20 Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitat
  • Janani Vivekananda, Head of Climate Diplomacy and Security Programme at adelphi

Moderated by Andrew Gilmour, Executive Director of the Berghof Foundation


About the event

The event was organised by the Berghof Foundation in cooperation with the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. We are grateful for the participation and support of UNCCD and adelphi.

Read more about the topic in our recent article series on climate conflict.


50 Years Berghof Foundation

The Berghof Foundation marked its 50th anniversary in 2021. The special event series we were holding throughout the year to reflect on past and current peacebuilding successes and challenges, is continuing in the year 2022. The events will identify and look at trends in order to develop tactics that will ensure our efforts towards sustainable peace together with our partners remain effective in the years to come. Find out more on our website and sign up for our newsletters or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date about our anniversary programme.


Please note that the event will be recorded using the cloud-based recording tool within the Zoom.us platform (using cloud servers based in the U.S.), to be published on the Berghof Foundation’s website and social media channels for external communications purposes. You can find the Berghof Foundation’s data protection notice here. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Berghof Foundation's Data Protection Officer (data.protection@berghof-foundation.org).

Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0) 177 7052758
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