Conflict and Fisheries in the Lake Victoria Basin: A Coupled Natural and Human Systems Approach
30 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2013
Date Written: 2013
Conflict scholars are increasingly cognizant that both natural resource exploitation and food security are linked to conflict in complex, dynamic ways. However, extant research has typically ignored the importance of conflict location in determining whether armed conflict leads to increased or decreased resource exploitation, and how changes in resource exploitation feed back into conflict dynamics. We develop a theoretical model in which conflict and fisheries are linked through mechanisms such as population displacement, labor redeployment, and food prices that contain strong feedbacks. Food prices, demand, access to resources, and conflict location shape the process of fishing effort, while food-web interactions and environmental variables affect fish catch. We focus on the importance of conflict location. Conflict can either depress or amplify fishing effort depending on the proximity of conflict to fishing areas and its impacts on local food markets. In addition to these direct effects on human and livelihood security, our analysis demonstrates that conflicts in the region have been a significant driver of ecosystem change and have important implications for natural resource management.
Keywords: fisheries, conflict, Uganda, coupled natural and human systems, civil war, Nile perch
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