World must wake up to the coming crisis in the Sahel

January 25, 2012 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Family Planning, Farming Practices, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to John Rowley for alerting PMC to the following editorial, written by Malcolm Potts. Malcolm is the first holder of the Fred H. Bixby endowed chair in Population and Family Planning at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and co-director of the Berkeley International Group (BIG). See:

COMMENTARY: World must wake up to the coming crisis in the Sahel

Posted: 23 January 2012

Author: Malcolm Potts

If forecasters could draw isobars outlining human suffering, then the high pressure zone of human pain would surely be in the failed, and failing states, along the Sahel, and across to Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, says Professor Malcolm Potts. This powerful Commentary is a wake-up call for new strategies to avert an environmentally-induced human catastrophe.

Along the edge of the Sahara desert, rapid population growth, global warming, poor governance and a hideous mistreatment of women are combining in a perfect storm which could lead to unprecedented levels of environmental stress, starvation, escalating conflict and massive waves of migration.

The potential for human misery is colossal. The need to act is pressing. The scale of problems in the Sahel goes beyond the usual response to a potential humanitarian disaster. New international strategies need to be built about food security, family planning, gender equity and governance that have major geopolitical implications for the rest of the twenty-first century.

To read the full article, please click here:

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