Contemporary Conflict Analysis in Perspective Chapter One

There is a complex relationship between ecology and conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, involving multiple actors, divergent and often conflicting interests, located at several levels of analysis. The access to and control of valuable natural resources, including minerals, oil, timber, productive pastures and farming land, have been crucial factors in the occurrence of violent conflicts across the continent. In their widest sense, the use and control of ecological resources as causes of conflicts has been motivated by both grievance and greed. Moreover, grievance related to the unjust and inequitable distribution of land and natural resources in many regions of Africa, and greed for valuable ecological resources have in many instances been the underlying causes of armed conflicts.