“It is not enough to say that Ethiopia is vulnerable,” says Joshua Busby, an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Also necessary is “which parts of Ethiopia are vulnerable and why.” Busby is part of the Department of Defense-funded Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS)
project. Part of the Minerva Research Initiative
, CCAPS is a multi-year, multi-institution effort to diagnose and assess the causal connections between climate change and security consequences.
In order to diagnose these relationships, CCAPS will use “geographic information systems to map sub-national vulnerability to climate change,” Busby says. Maps will not only include physical exposure to climate change, but also detailed social, household, and community level indicators and broader factors of politics, governance, and demography.
Although only in the first year of the project, Busby describes the initial achievements CCAPS has made in mapping specific vulnerability areas throughout western Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria. In the next few years, the CCAPS project will continue to map region-specific areas of vulnerability on the African continent and will provide policymakers with the tools to improve foreign assistance flows in areas of high vulnerability.