Over the last sixty years at least forty per cent of all intrastate conflicts have been connected to natural resources. Their exploitation has fuelled at least eighteen violent conflicts since 1990. Civil wars in Africa such as those in Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are linked to resources like timber, diamonds, gold, minerals and oil. Other conflicts, including those in Darfur (Sudan) and the Middle East, initiated from the control of scarce resources such as fertile land and water.
Conflicts over natural resources are bound to increase in the coming years as the demand for resources grows. Climate change needs to be considered when assessing resource availability, such as water, and its potential consequences such as population displacement.
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