Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
Science · Diplomacy · Law · Finance · Education
Environmental Security and Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa
IES Fellow Chad Briggs co-author of a report on environmental security
7 June 2010
IES Fellow Chad Briggs has co-authored a report with disease expert Jennifer Bath (Concordia College, USA), "Environmental Security and Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa". It was published recently as part of the book African Environmental and Human Security in the 21st Century (Cambria Press), edited by US Naval Academy Professor Helen Purkitt.
Briggs and Bath argue that traditional approaches to disease and security focused too narrowly on state stability and economic indicators, and ignored the complex systems within which diseases spread. Rather than claiming that diseases lead to instability, they use the case of cholera in Zimbabwe to illustrate that prior instability more often leads to disease, which then becomes a positive feedback and worsens conditions. But Briggs and Bath also show that in places such as Sudan, tackling neglected diseases such as helminths (worm-related infections) can offer low-cost and effective ways of bolstering local resilience even when conflict is present.
Other chapters in the book, mostly authored by current or former military officers, address issues such as the link between environment and terrorism in Africa, resource scarcity, and food security.