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Past Event

Conservation and security: New challenges, new opportunities, and the US-Africa Leaders Summit

Past Event

Security, public safety, and public health in Africa are increasingly and in complex ways intertwined with environmental degradation, habitat destruction, and illegal logging and poaching. In East and West Africa, decades of overgrazing and mismanagement of livestock herds and pastures have set off dangerous and violent herders-farmers conflicts, overlaying ethnic and communal rivalries. Desertification in the Sahel and profound water loss in places such as the Lake Chad Basin severely impede economic opportunities for national economies, subject large populations to food insecurity, and can be exploited by extremist actors. Climate change critically exacerbates famine-inducing droughts, a humanitarian catastrophe currently unfolding in the Horn of Africa. Poaching, wildlife trafficking, and deforestation are some of the most dangerous sources of zoonotic diseases. With its commitment to promoting peace, food security, sustainable economic growth, and countering climate change, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December 2022 provides new opportunities for a renewed commitment to multifaceted environmental conservation.

On November 30, the Brookings Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors and the Africa Security Initiative held a discussion on the many linkages between environmental degradation and conflict and insecurity, and new opportunities for effectively responding to these severe challenges and building a green economy and peace across Africa.

Viewers submitted questions via e-mail to or on Twitter using #AfricaEnvironmentalSecurity.



Andrew Campbell

Chief Executive Officer - Game Rangers Association of Africa


Derek Littleton

General Manager and Director of Conservation and Law Enforcement - Luwire Wildlife Conservancy

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