Institute for Environmental Security
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Environmental Experts of Dutch Embassies Consider Environment / Conflict Link
IES Chairman Serves as Roving Reporter
5 - 6 Oct 2004
On 5 and 6 October 2004, IES chairman Wouter Veening participated as "roving reporter on conflict" in the meeting of environmental experts of the Dutch embassies with the Directorate Environment and Water of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He was asked to raise the subject of environment and conflict at the various sessions and to report on the discussions relating to (potential) activities of the Embassies in this field, since there is a window within the Dutch development cooperation budget for this issue.
During the sessions on integrated river basin management, sustainable land use and effective environmental governance explicit attention was given to the need for the development of institutions to prevent conflicts over scarce land resources, the diversion or pollution of upstream waters damaging downstream interests, the protection of local (indigenous) communities against (foreign) extractive industries, the need to strengthen the position of environment ministries within government structures and to raise public environmental awareness.
Besides reporting, Wouter also mentioned the role of remote sensing and satellite images to help identify ecological security risks and to enforce environmental legislation, thus contributing to good governance.
The meeting was an excellent opportunity to touch base with representatives from the Embassies of the IES case study countries (Rwanda, Colombia and Indonesia) and with the environmental experts of the Dutch delegations in important environmental security countries such as China and Brazil.