New modelling results link natural resources and armed conflicts
The JRC has developed a statistical modelling tool to analyse the risk of conflict in developing countries. The tool – which was presented at the conference "Scientific Support for Food Security and Global Governance" on 28 September - examines the link between natural resources and the risk of conflict by combining online news reports with geographical satellite data.
A key advance is the very detailed scale of the data - most being gathered to the square kilometre - and the fact that the modelling is based on the seriousness of the conflicts.
The model makes it possible to perform statistical comparisons between conflict events and geo-referenced datasets, such as those on natural resources (including mineral resources), land cover, distribution of population and economic activity, electrification rates, terrain and other geographical data.
First results show that there is a link between conflict events and the proximity of mineral resource mines and grassland, and greater chance of conflict in areas where there have been conflicts in the past. The data collected by the JRC also show that many conflict events reported by the media are related to food issues: cattle raiding, conflicts between herders and cultivators, pillaging and conflict over access to water.
This approach has potential use in the European Commission's development aid planning and crisis prevention.
The model was developed in the context of the project "Global Atlas and Information Centre for Conflicts and Natural Resources", which focused on 18 countries from four regions: African Great Lakes, the Horn of Africa, Western Africa and Central Asia, analysing reports of over 1,500 conflict events.
The information from the model is freely accessible at http://nareco.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
- Europe Media Monitor (EMM)
- Food Security monitoring at the JRC (IES)
- Global Atlas & Information Centre for Conflicts and Natural Resources (NaReCo)
- Press release: Research and Innovation: new modelling results link natural resources and armed conflicts
- JRC Conference on "Scientific support for Food Security and Global Governance"
- Instrument for Stability (IfS) - European External Action Service
- JRC Report: Armed conflicts and natural resources