Anthropogenic activities such as the combustion of fossil fuels,
land-use change and intensive agriculture are increasingly influencing
the climate of the Earth and exerting pressure on ecosystems. These
changes have amplified the risk of scarcity and shocks (discrete and
sudden events) in natural renewable resource (henceforth, NRR) scarcity
across the spectrum of spatial scales.
The interplay between freshwater scarcity and conflict/collaboration is
the most prominent and referenced of the environment-conflict issues in
the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports of the IPCC. Discussions with
the review user-group, confirmed that a systematic mapping of the
literature in this particular field was a priority.
The key objective of the study was to identify and systematically map
all published and unpublished research to address the following primary
question: What is the evidence that scarcity and shocks in freshwater
resources cause conflict instead of promoting collaboration?
Chapter 1 is an introduction outlining the aims and rationale, and
presenting the conceptual framework for the review. Chapter 2 presents
the objectives of the review. In Chapter 3, the systematic review
protocol is presented, while Chapter 4 describes results from the search
and inclusion strategy and presents the systematic map. Chapter 5
discusses the review and its limitations, and Chapter 6 concludes the
From a set of 589 studies identified after the first round of screening,
just 47 relevant studies were identified. Of the 47 studies, 19 explored
interstate interactions. Just one examined interstate conflict in
relation to freshwater scarcity, while the remaining 18 were
specifically related to transboundary river basins. At the intrastate
level, 15 studies examined the relationship at the national level, while
the remaining 13 explored interactions at the sub-national level.
There is a protocol for this systematic review
CEE review 10-010, Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, Bangor, UK, 180 pp.