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Mapping environmental conflicts and cooperation

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Typhoon Haiyan Protests in the Philippines

Type of conflict main
Intensity 3
Region
South Eastern Asia
Time 2013 ‐ ongoing
Countries Philippines
Resources Agricultural / Pastoral Land
Conflict Summary Failure of fast and effective post-disaster reconstruction in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 has led to citizen protests and conflict with...
Typhoon Haiyan Protests in the Philippines
Failure of fast and effective post-disaster reconstruction in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 has led to citizen protests and conflict with anti-government groups.
Conceptual Model

Climate Change

Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record, hit the Philippines in 2013, killing 7,300 people. According to the United Nations, the weather event was climate change related.

Intermediary Mechanisms

The poorest and most fragile regions of the Philippines were the most affected. Many were left homeless, jobless and without basic sanitation months after the disaster hit. The slow and inadequate response of the government revealed the government’s lack of funds and unpreparedness to deal with the challenges of reconstruction.

Fragility and Conflict Risks

Citizens have accused the government of abandonment, corruption, discrimination, deceit, and repression during the post-catastrophe reconstruction. These grievances have incited protests against the president, and the government’s poor reconstruction progress. Furthermore, the distribution of aid has caused violent conflict with the New People’s Army (NPA), who claims that the government has purposefully diverted aid from their regions.

Climate ChangeEnvironmental ChangeIntermediary MechanismsFragility and Conflict RisksSocial and Economic DriversExtreme weather event is consistent with predictions regarding more frequent and/or intense extreme weather events.Extreme weather event destroys/threatens livelihoods.Extreme weather event reveals a lacking capacity of the state to manage crises and/or reduces state capacity.Livelihood insecurity reveals lacking capacity of the state to manage crises.The perceived inadequacy of state capacity leads to growing discontent with the state.An increase in the frequency and/or intensity of extreme weather events, such as floods or droughts.More Frequent / Intense Extreme Weather EventsA specific extreme weather event such as a flood or a storm.Extreme Weather EventA threat or destruction of livelihoods dependent on the availability of environmental resources / goods.Livelihood InsecurityReduced capacity of the state to fulfil basic functions deemed necessary by the population and/or reduced public support for state authorities.Reduced State Capacity and/or LegitimacyChallenge to the state's legitimacy, ranging from peaceful protest to violent attempts at overthrowing the government.Anti-State Grievances
Context Factors
  • Unresponsive Government
  • Weak Institutions
Case Study

Protests and incidences of violence following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 have targeted the slow, discriminative and inefficient reconstruction efforts of the government. The typhoon was the strongest on record and has been suggested by the United Nations to be climate change- related (UN, 2013). It hit some of the poorest and most fragile regions of the Philippines, which have experienced political instability with insurgent groups for decades. Protests and incidences of violence have not caused fatalities.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013 and killed 7,300 people (Linao, 2014). According to the World Meteorological Centre, the super typhoon Haiyan is in trend with scientific predictions regarding climate change and the onset of unprecedented weather events (WMO, 2013). Citizens have accused the government for “abandonment, corruption, deceit and repression” in their approach to post-catastrophe reconstruction, also discriminating against some groups (Linao, 2014).

Although the international community pledged 1.64 billion dollars in humanitarian aid for reconstruction, only 23% of the pledged assistance was received, mostly via non-government organizations and charity groups (Linao, 2014). The typhoon hit some of the poorest areas in the Philippines, some of which have been affected by conflict between independent armed groups (the New People’s Army (NPA)) and the Philippines' military for some time (Walch, 2013). The distribution of aid has caused violent conflict with the NPA, as the NPA claims the government purposefully diverted aid from their regions (Walch, 2013). The government’s lack of funds and unpreparedness to deal with the challenges of reconstruction has also left many homeless, jobless and without basic sanitation months after the disaster hit. Nearly one year after the disaster, 320 people were still living in evacuation centres, 4,760 were in tents and 19,700 were still living in transitional sites or bunkhouses (Aseo, 2014). In 2014, protesters burned an effigy of the president Benigno Aquino in Tacloban in retaliation to poor reconstruction progress while other citizens expressed their discontent with the government and its negligence in a 40-day “climate walk” from Manila to Tacloban. Protestors also demanded greater action to address fragility to climate change.

Protestors and the political opposition are placing pressure on the president to quicken the reconstruction process. There is also growing demand for transparency and accountability in the reconstruction process to prevent fraud from government officials. However, much of the reconstruction remains in the hands of international agencies and NGOs, such as the World Bank or the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (Aseo,2014).

Intensities & Influences
conflict intensity scale
Intensities
International / Geopolitical Intensity
Human Suffering

Influences
Environmental Influences
Societal Influences

Manifest Crisis
Fatalities
0
Violent Conflict Yes
Salience within nation National
Mass Displacement Less than 100.000 and less than 10% of the country's population are displaced within the country.
Cross Border Mass Displacement No
Resources
Agricultural / Pastoral Land
Resolution Success
Resolve of displacement problems Repatriation has taken place.
Reduction in geographical scope There has been no reduction in geographical scope.
Increased capacity to address grievance in the future There is no increased capacity to address grievances in the future.
Grievance Resolution Grievances have been partially addressed.
Causal Attribution of Decrease in Conflict Intensity The decline in intensity can be explained purely by the decline of the environmental stressor.
General opencollapse
Country Data in Comparison
ConflictNoData Created with Sketch.
Fault Lines Defining Conflict Parties
Purely Environmental | Cultural   ♦   Occupational   ♦   Economic   ♦   Urban / Rural   ♦   National / International conflict   ♦   Sub-national political


Actors
Participation Conflict Party     Conflict Resolution Facilitator
Government of the Philippines
Functional GroupPublic
Geographical ScaleInternal National
International Aid Organizations
Functional GroupPublic
Geographical ScaleExternal
Armed Forces of the Philippines
Functional GroupPublic
Geographical ScaleInternal National
New People’s Army (NPA)
Functional GroupNon-State Violent Actor
Geographical ScaleInternal National
Philippine protestors
Functional GroupCivil Society
Geographical ScaleInternal Grassroots
Further Details opencollapse
Conflict Characterization
Broad conflict characterization Resource capture is not present.
Ecological marginalization is not present.
Data of involved Countries
Resources and Materials opencollapse
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