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The Sinai desert

Project: CLICO
Country: Egypt
Size: 60 000 km²


Sinai is one of the driest areas in Egypt and probably in the Middle East, with average precipitation around 100 mm/year. Sinai Bedouins, who are the area's local inhabitants, have experienced a harsh spell of drought for the last few years that affected their livelihoods and their environment to a great extent. Such implications of climate change make it more likely that Bedouins are more vulnerable to a variety of risks, including water shortage, which are expected to reshape the social and economic fabric of their communities and of the area. This type of changes are expected to cascade down to a variety of impacts on Bedouin wellbeing, which could trigger phenomena like migration, tribal conflict, violence and further environmental degradation.

The present study will use ethnographic methods in order to investigate these issues in depth. The aim is to lay down a foundation for research on ways of coping with expected conflictive social, cultural, economic and political impacts of climate change in a context of harnessing vulnerability and promoting resilience and adaptation. Lessons learned from the present study would constitute a reference on how to promote adaptive measures for climate change impacts in dryland areas of other parts of the world. The case study will serve to further understand the conditions that lead actors to engage in conflict, a main theme of CLICO's research, and will also help clarify interactions between hydro-hazards in fragile eco- and cultural systems and vulnerability, and the causal routes between vulnerability, impacts, conflicts and human security.


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