Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
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Clingendael Workshop on "Environment & Conflict Prevention"
The Hague, 6 October 2008
24 September 2008
Competition for natural resources - notably water - which will be exacerbated by climate change over the next decades, is likely to create further turbulence and migratory movements in various regions. In many places, the environment and natural resources are contributing to conflict and insecurity, whether from over-exploitation, pollution, mismanagement, their scarcity or their abundance.
The potential consequences of environmental changes (including climate change) and of the environmental degradation associated with them include food and water shortages, population shifts and economic losses. These, in turn, may increase a range of risks to human security, including the risk of conflict. Yet, the relationship between environmental change and conflict is not yet sufficiently understood, partly because the processes that produce violent conflict in any particular situation are almost always attributable to more than one factor. Although environmental change likely never has been and never will be the sole or proximate cause of deadly conflict, it can contribute to conditions that make it more likely or severe. A key challenge is therefore to better understand the relationship between climate change, environmental degradation and conflict and to effectively manage associated risks through appropriate conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms. One valuable tactic is called ?Environmental Peacemaking?. The idea behind this approach is that environmental cooperation initiatives can have great potential as peacemaking tools. As such, cooperative efforts to manage natural resources can be used as a way to transform insecurities and create more peaceful relations between parties in dispute.
The explorative workshop ?Environment & Conflict Prevention? organised by the Clingendael Institute on 6 October 2008, 13:00 - 17:30, in The Hague will provide a forum for discussing environment, conflict and peace-making in an interdisciplinary manner, bringing together experts from various backgrounds to present their respective understandings on this issue. The aim is to exchange knowledge and experiences and thereby determine the current state of affairs surrounding this topic.
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