Environmental Resource Scarcity as a Source of Conflict in the Horn of Africa; a Case Study of the Mau Forest in Kenya
This research endeavors to establish how environmental scarcity is connected to the conflicts in the Horn of Africa. It is centered on three specific objectives, the first one is to identify the causes of environmental resource scarcity related conflicts in the Horn of Africa and the second one is to establishing the extent to which environmental diplomacy has been adopted in resolving environmental related conflicts. The third objective looks at the effectiveness of the conflict mitigation measures employed to manage the conflicts in the Horn of Africa as well as in the Mau forest complex. This research is anchored on two theoretical models, environmental scarcity model and the environmental diplomacy model. The environmental scarcity model is aligned to Homer-Dixon’s book Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: the case of Rwanda while the environmental diplomacy model looks at how it has gained prominence due to adverse environmental problems that befell the world in the recent past. The research targeted a sample population of 30 interviewees that were drawn from forest management agencies, forest enterprises, and households in study area. This study used both quantitative and Qualitative analysis methods to assess and explain research objectives. The findings indicate that destruction of the Mau forest is a threat to regional security because of the effects caused by the erratic weather changes. Riparian countries that depend on water from the Mau forest are afraid that they will be hit by water shortages if the destruction continues. The Kenyan economy has also been affected through the tourism industry. Flamingoes are now moving to the neighboring country due to insufficient food in the Kenyan lakes. It was also evident that sustaining the restoration of the Mau complex, was dependent in the involvement of the local communities in decision-making.
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