A better understanding of the links between environmental change and human security is vital for effective conflict prevention, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.
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Ask an ecologist and a security analyst to name those countries of gravest concern, and although their points of departure differ, their lists would look remarkably similar: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia, among others.
The connections between environmental issues and conflict are many and complex. Environmental factors themselves are rarely, if ever, the sole cause of violence. But natural resources and other environmental factors are linked to violent conflict in a variety of ways often obscured by more visible issues, such as ethnic tension and power politics.
There is a crucial need to understand the links among environmental change, natural resources and security and to transmit them to policy-makers and practitioners. This is the focus of IISD’s Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding program.
Environment and Migration
Understanding how human migration affects critical natural resources, ecosystems and livelihoods, and developing approaches and practical responses to support policy-makers and practitioners.
Climate Change and Security
Understanding how climate change could affect political and economic stability, and developing effective ways to address those problems.
Conservation and Conflict
Working with conservation and development partners around the world to better understand the links between conservation and conflict and to offer practical recommendations to conservationists faced with conflict.
Environmental Diplomacy and Peacebuilding
Researching how environmental change and natural resources can act as a common threat or opportunity for divided communities or countries and how they can be used as platforms for cooperation and conflict prevention.
Environment and Human Security
Exploring emerging challenges to economic and political stability and transmitting practical recommendations to policy-makers on how to strengthen human security through better environmental management and more effective natural resource governance.
Business, Trade and Conflict
Investigating the impacts of trade policies and business practices on the environment, natural resources and conflict.