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CLICO is a three year research project funded by the European Commission. It takes an innovative multidisciplinary approach to fill knowledge gaps over the social dimensions of climate change.

In particular, the project is investigating whether hydro-climatic hazards such as droughts and floods exacerbate social tensions, intra- and inter-state conflicts in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Sahel, or if they provide a catalyst for cooperation and peace.

Eleven cases of hydro-conflicts will be studied ranging from Niger, Sudan, the Jordan and Nile basins to Cyprus, Italy and the Sinai desert. A large dataset – the first of its kind – of hydro-conflicts in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Sahel will be regressed against climatic, hydrological and socio-economic variables.

Time span

3 years: 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2012

Key goals

CLICO pursues the following two objectives:

  • To understand and model the relationships between hydro-climatic hazards, climate change vulnerability, human security and conflict, on the basis of theoretically-informed, comparative empirical research.
  • To map international and national policies for security and adaptation in water resources and hazard management, and develop a policy model for security against hydro-climatic hazards (“hydro-security”) in the region, applicable to the UN, EU and national states.

The role of UNU-EHS in CLICO

Within the CLICO project UNU-EHS main tasks are, amongst others, to participate in the creation of the CLICO conceptual framework and the protocol for case studies that will frame case-study research design as well as in the development of an integrated theory on threats to security from climate change impacts on hydrological systems. In that regard UNU-EHS will also conduct two in-depth field research-based hydro-conflict case studies, one in Egypt, focusing on the Metropolitan Region of Alexandria and another one in Tahoua Region of Niger.

Research focuses on the linkages between water resources degradation and/or pressures, environmental and social vulnerability and, migration, all potentially leading to social tensions and (violent) conflicts. Moreover formal and informal structures of water governance in the case study areas will be analysed and assessed with particular focus on their adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change and their dispute settlement mechanisms and against national and international legal frameworks.  

Project outcomes

Visit the download area to access all material published during the project!

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Partner Organizations

Please click here to get to a complete list of the project partners.

Funded by


  • Dr. Julia Kloos

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