Professor, University of Nigeria Nsukka
Climate change is among the drivers of conflicts between nomadic herders and farmers in many countri
Climate change is among the drivers of conflicts between nomadic herders and farmers in many countries of Africa although the magnitude of the linkage is yet to be ascertained. This paper aims to close the knowledge gap by examining the spatial vulnerability to climate change induced farmer–herder conflicts in Nigeria. Data were obtained from the Nigeria Watch Database, National Bureau of Statistics and National Agriculture Sample Survey. The analysis was based on Climate Security Vulnerability Model. Four main sources of vulnerability or “baskets” namely; climate related hazard exposure, population pressure, household and community resilience, and incidence of farmer-herder conflicts were utilized. The variables within a given basket of vulnerability were summed and mapped to create composite basket maps while the overall composite scores for each of the four baskets were summed together, to produce composite vulnerability map. Cluster analysis was used to group the states according to the degree of vulnerability. The results show that the incidence of farmer-herder conflicts is widespread in the country with the Middle Belt States including Benue, Adamawa and Taraba the worst hit. In terms of climate related hazards, the northern states of Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Yobe and Borno states with vulnerability indices of 0.56, 0.63, 0.65,0.82, 0.92 and 0.95 respectively experience greater impacts. Again, for population pressure on grazing land, northern states are more vulnerable. The composite vulnerability shows that Kaduna, Kano, Benue, Taraba, Bauchi, Borno and Zamfara are the hotspot states, while the cluster analysis shows six patterns. The paper concludes that the current practice of herders moving cattle in search of pastures as climate dictates is an evidence of maladaptation to climate change. This requires sound policy towards sustainable adaptation strategies.