Across West Africa, violent conflicts between farmers and herders have been regular occurrences for decades. Some analyses of these conflicts see the driver as competition over scarce resources like water and grazing land. Others point to economic, political and social interactions. They all tend to agree that climate change has reinforced farmer-herder relations in various ways. For example, it has forced herders to change their migration patterns, reduced access to feed and made water scarcer. In Ghana, between 2001 and 2016, more than 68 people were killed in farmer-herder conflicts. Over the years, there has been a mixture of policies to deal with conflict. Some have been “hard” measures like expelling migrant herders and shooting their cattle. Others have been “soft” approaches like dispute resolution and negotiation. But the measures have mostly failed to address the causes of conflict.  

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Dr. Abubakari Ahmed is a lecturer at the Department of Planning of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Ghana. Prior to joining UDS, he was a postdoc at the University of Trier in Germany and a recipient of a Humboldt Research Fellowship. His research focuses on sustainability assessment renewable energy options by examining the social, economic, and environmental impacts of various rural feedstock systems used in biofuel production. In climapAfrica, his research seeks to understand how collapsed biofuel projects have rather reinforced poverty, land degradation, and multiple ecological consequences, thereby serving as an inducer of climate change and a barrier to sustainable livelihood in rural areas of Ghana.

Elias Danyi Kuusaana is a Senior Lecturer in Land Management and Land Tenure at the SD Dombo University of Business & Integrated Development Studies, Ghana. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Bonn; MSc. in Land Management and Land Tenure from the TU Munich, and BSc. in Land Economy from the KNUST, Ghana. He has researched on land tenure and urban planning. He is a professional member of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors as Valuation and Estate Surveyor since 2016.