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Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are in the midst of a tumultuous transition. The ENVSEC partners were asked by the governments of these countries to prepare an assessment of environment and security linkages and possibilities for action which was released on October 22, 2004.
This report—available in both Russian (PDF - 9.4 mb) and English (PDF - 14.6 mb)—uses maps and graphics to highlight areas of particular environmental stress and vulnerability in the Southern Caucasus, as identified by stakeholders from the countries.
In autumn 2002, the OSCE, UNEP and UNDP joined forces with a constellation of UN agencies and NGOs to promote better environmental management as a strategy for reducing insecurity in South Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Through extensive regional consultations, and under the expert guidance of an international steering committee, this initiative sought to:
deliver regionally-appropriate definitions of the environment and security linkages of greatest relevance in South Eastern Europe and Central Asia;
map these risks and opportunities in the form of a graphically-rich final report and Web site;
present the maps and their conclusions at the Kiev "Environment for Europe" Ministerial Meeting in May 2003, with recommendations for follow-up action; and
mobilize resources and expertise to implement the suggested follow-up activities.
This brief presentation (RealMedia) by Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) highlights the linkages between environment and security in the regions of South Eastern Europe and Central Asia, outlining how the ENVSEC Initiative seeks to harness these linkages to promote cooperation and mutual understanding. Year: 2003 Duration: 7'40'' Language: English
Cooperation towards sustainable and equitable management of the environment can build bridges across boundaries and between peoples. Sometimes all that is missing is a “roadmap.”
This project sought to facilitate a process whereby key public decision-makers in South Eastern Europe and Central Asia are able to motivate action to address the links between natural resources and social stability, by mapping environment and security concerns and presenting them in a visually-compelling way.
There is growing understanding that rising scarcity and degradation; inequitable access to critical natural resources; and transboundary movement of hazardous materials are posing an increasing threat to security in South Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Environmental factors can, in some instances, trigger or fuel violence and deepen divides. The environment itself can be dramatically affected by conflict.
More hopefully, it is now recognized that actions that reduce environmental stress, guarantee access to vital resources and remove economic incentives for violence present opportunities for enhancing cooperation and building a more sustainable peace. Environmental cooperation can itself be an important means for building confidence between communities.
In South Eastern Europe and Central Asia, several trends could undermine local and international security. After-effects of the economic collapse of the East Bloc, criminality and ethnic tensions place great pressure on the transitional governments. Ensuring economic development—and responding to governance challenges in the context of deepening regional integration—will intensify pressure on natural resources unless mechanisms are put in place in advance to manage the transition.
Meeting Summary: An Environment Agenda for Security and Cooperation in South East Europe and Central Asia (PDF - 182 kb)
1st Regional Consultation, SE Europe Belgrade, December 3–4, 2002
Meeting Summary: An Environment Agenda for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PDF - 366 kb)
1st Regional Consultation, C Asia Ashgabad, January 20–21, 2003
Environment & Security: Transforming Risks into Cooperation (Focus: Central Asia and South Eastern Europe)
This report of the first phase of ENVSEC activities provides an overview of environmental concerns with security implications in Central Asia and South Eastern Europe, revealing many hot spots and areas of common interest.
English (PDF - 10.7 mb) - Russian (PDF - 14.8 mb)
Addressing Environmental Risks in Central Asia: Risks, Conditions, Policies, Capacities
This report assesses major environmental risks related to security and describes the socio-economic context and the institutional and policy framework available to address these in the five Central Asian countries.
English (PDF - 1.5 mb) - Russian (PDF - 1.5 mb)
Environment and Security: A Framework for Cooperation in Europe (PDF - 519 kb)» Saule Ospanova, Alexander Carius, and Jason Switzer A brief introduction to the links between environment and security, and a discussion of the issues of greatest relevance in Central Asia.
Environment and Security Initiative Addressing Environmental Risks and Promoting Peace and Stability (PDF - 41 kb)
This paper describes the structure and aspirations of the ENVSEC initiative following the Kiev "Environment for Europe" Ministerial in May 2003. The Initiative will focus on three activity areas; (1) vulnerability assessment and monitoring of environment and security linkages, (2) policy development and implementation; and (3) institutional development, capacity building and advocacy.
Provisional Agenda - Side Event - Kiev Environment for Europe Ministerial / Prague OSCE Economic Forum, May 21, 2003 (PDF - 107 kb)
Kiev "Environment for Europe Ministerial" / Prague OSCE "Economic Forum"
Environment and Security: Transforming Risks Into Cooperation – The Case of the Southern Caucasus
The Southern Caucasus—composed of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia—has long been a focal point for change, a bridge between Asia and Europe. Today, social, political and economic transformations are altering century-old relationships between countries and communities, affecting and being affected by the natural environment. In the worst case, environmental stress and change could undermine security in the region. In the best, sound environmental management and technical cooperation can be a means for strengthening security in the Southern Caucasus, while promoting sustainable development. What priority actions can be taken to harness the environment for peace?
This report—available in both Russian (PDF - 9.4 mb) and English (PDF - 14.6 mb)—presents through maps and graphics the linkages between environmental stress, potential social tension and areas of particular vulnerability in the Southern Caucasus, as identified by stakeholders from the countries:
environmental degradation and access to natural resources in areas of conflict;
management of cross-border environmental concerns: cross-border water resources, natural hazards, and industrial and military legacies; and
population growth and rapid development in capital and other major cities.