"Salt in the System": Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Water Management in the Draa Catchment of Morocco

Salidraa 2 is a a German-Moroccan research project focusing on the consequences of climate change and human activity on the water bodies of the Drâa River Basin. The aim is to find solutions for problems like salinization and develop strategies for sustainable water use that benefit the people in the Drâa River Basin and the environment.

The research group Landuse Conflicts leads the analyzes of conflicts arising between users of water and land in the Drâa River Basin.   

Principal Investigator: Jun. Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Berger
Lead of Conflict Analysis: Jun. Prof. Dr. Janpeter Schilling
Period: 2019 - 2024
Funded by: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Here you find the project website.


Process-based & Resilience-Oriented management of DIversity Generates sustainabilitY

The crossing of tipping points in ecosystems leads to abrupt and mostly irreversible shifts between alternative system states. Changes in the soil ecosystem have effects on the associated systems, i.e. almost all ecological, but also economic and social systems. Sufficient food production can only be ensured if appropriately used soils are able to provide their full functions. If a tipping point in the soil is exceeded, people may no longer be able to feed on their land. There is thus a danger that changes in the state of economic and social systems will also occur if their resilience is low.

In order to prevent a tipping point in soils from being exceeded, it is first essential to understand soil functions and their resilience to disturbances. To foster this understanding, the PRODIGY project investigates biodiversity-related functions. Our hypothesis is that these functions are permanently guaranteed if many organisms with slightly different functional properties are present and thus prevent the corresponding functions from being endangered by crossing a tipping point. This natural safety net is called functional redundancy.

PRODIGY therefore focuses on biodiversity-driven processes for controlling soil functions. With competent management they can be implemented in ecosystem services (ESS) and are therefore suitable both for the definition of sustainable management options through functional diversity management and for the scientific elucidation of the functioning of core processes in ecosystems and regions characterised by ongoing anthropogenic transformation.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Hermann Jungkunst
Lead of Conflict Analysis: Jun. Prof. Janpeter Schilling
Period: 2019 - 2022
Funded by: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Here you find the project website.

Landuse Conflicts in Rhineland-Palatinate

The aim of the project is to better understand landuse conflicts in Rhineland-Palatinate and to identify entry points for conflict mitigation. The type of conflicts is broad and ranges from conflicts over wind parks, to urban expansion and accommodation and integration of refugees. Jun Prof. Dr. Janpeter Schilling works closely with the Peace Academy Rhineland-Palatinate and students of the University of Koblenz-Landau to analyze these conflicts.  

Principal Investigator: Jun. Prof. Dr. Janpeter Schilling.
Period: 2016 - 2019
Funded by: University of Koblenz-Landau

Exploring the Nexus of Oil, Conflict and Climate Change in North-west Kenya.

The overall research objective of the project is to contribute to the understanding of the nexus of oil, conflict, and climate change in north-west Kenya. To reach this objective, the project is driven by the following hypotheses addressing the exploration and exploitation of oil (collectively termed “oil”).

H1: Oil poses a conflict risk for northwest Kenya

H2: Oil undermines the communities’ capacity to adapt to climate change 

H3: Oil brings development opportunities to northwest Kenya

The first hypothesis relates to the risk of oil to aggravate existing violent conflicts between communities, but also to the risk of creating new conflict within the Turkana community and  between local communities and the operating oil company. Sources of conflict may include competition for key water and land resources, grievances over employment or environmental  degradation caused by oil operations. The second hypothesis specifically addresses issues of  altered access to and availability of water, land and migration routes. The third hypothesis aims to identify potential positive effects for the region, including improved infrastructure, revenues and employment and business opportunities.


The project ended in March 2019 and its results can be found in the following publications:

Froese, R. & Schilling, J. (2019): The Nexus of Climate Change, Land Use and Conflicts. J. Curr Clim Change Rep. online

Schilling, J., Locham, R., & Scheffran, J. (2018): A Local to Global Perspective on Oil and Wind Exploitation, Resource Governance and Conflict in Northern Kenya, Conflict, Security & Development, 18(6), 571-600. online

Seter, H., Theisen, O. M., & Schilling, J. (2016): All About Water and Land? Resource-Related Conflicts in East and West Africa Revisited, GeoJournal, 1-19. online

Schilling, J., Weinzierl, T., Lokwang, A. E., & Opiyo, F. (2016): For Better or Worse: Major Developments Affecting Resource and Conflict Dynamics in Northwest Kenya, Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie/ German Journal of Economic Geography, 60(1-2), 57–71. online

Schilling, J., Locham, R., Weinzierl, T., Vivekananda, J., & Scheffran, J. (2015): The Nexus of Oil, Conflict, and Climate Change Vulnerability of Pastoral Communities in Northwest Kenya, Earth System Dynamics, 6(2), 703-717. online


Principal Investigator: Jun. Prof. Dr. Janpeter Schilling.
Period: 2016 - 2019
Funded by: National Geographic Society