Scoping paper on the ongoing desert locust crisis



The desert locust upsurge that began in 2019 is still ongoing also at the beginning of 2022. The upsurge continues to profoundly threaten vast regions, especially the Horn of Africa and Western Asia, with already vulnerable regional rural livelihoods and food security put at further peril.

Given that due to climate change, conditions favoring desert locust outbreaks will likely occur more frequently and in intensity, this scoping paper calls for renewed global governance. In an interconnected world facing unprecedented events and disasters, it is pivotal to instill and coordinate innovative early warning and outbreak prevention systems both at the global and regional levels to increase resilience in times of the climate crisis.


Key messages


  1. There is increasing evidence that meteorological shifts (higher temperatures in the Indian Ocean) due to climate change have played an important role in the scale and severity of the 2019 desert locust upsurge.
  2. The status quo of the distribution of responsibilities of countries and the regional and global levels needs to be reviewed and adjusted. This equates to better and more rapid coordination, within the realm of superior governance.
  3. Prevention and management of transboundary pests and diseases need to be integrated into climate change adaptation and resilience efforts.
  4. The current transboundary outbreak has resulted in millions of liters of highly toxic pesticides being unleashed into the environment. It is imperative to understand the costs to the environment and to human health caused by such toxic pesticides.


Discover TMG co-hosts side events on the governance of transboundary climate threats and food system transformation at UNFCCC COP 27🦗

Author: Müller, A., Nilsson, S., Prakash, A. and Lazutkaite, E.

Publisher: TMG Research gGmbH

Language: English

Year: 2022

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Horn of Africa

Related Publications