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Climate, Peace and Security in Myanmar

In a new Fact Sheet from the joint NUPI and SIPRI Climate-related Peace and Security Risks Project (CPSR), the team explore the nexus between climate change, peace, and security in Myanmar.
Boats in the Kaladan River/Wikimedia Common

Myanmar is home to one of the highest concentrations of people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with 40 per cent of the population residing in low-lying and coastal regions.

Following a military takeover in 2021, the establishment of the State Administration Council (SAC) was met with broad popular resistance, retriggering confrontations with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) and local anti-junta militias. Conflict has exacerbated the country’s vulnerability to climate change and environmental degradation.

Read the fact sheet here or download it as a PDF here

  • Since the 2021 military takeover, escalating violence and climate- related disasters have undermined Myanmar’s crucial agricultural sector, impacting food security and livelihoods in conflict-affected communities.
  • Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and urban migrants residing in informal settlements, including protest-engaged youth, are particularly vulnerable to climate hazards. This affects the flow of remittances to rural communities, which serve as a buffer during poor harvests.
  • Myanmar’s military and EAOs have used humanitarian aid and disaster response to bolster their legitimacy and gain the support of civilian populations, leading to unequal climate resilience and disaster recovery in areas affected by climate-related disasters.
  • The military takeover accelerated extractive activities conducted by the military and private enterprises, leading to environmental degradation. The intersecting crises of conflict and climate change have created opportunities for elites to exploit vulnerable populations, the landless, ethnic minorities and women.

The United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have engaged in conflict mitigation in Myanmar since the military takeover, with limited success. The UN has emphasized that the military takeover triggered a humanitarian crisis, undermined human rights and heightened vulnerability to climate change. The UN and ASEAN leaders have highlighted the importance of peacebuilding initiatives and enhanced community resilience to climate change. Addressing the intersection of climate change, peace and security in Myanmar, without legitimizing the SAC, is critical for strengthening community resilience to climate change, preventing resource conflict and improving the cooperative management of shared resources across communities and other identity groups.

Further Reading:

More fact sheets in this series:


  • Asia
  • Conflict
  • Fragile states
  • Climate
  • United Nations
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Climate-related Peace and Security Risks