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Peace week: Platform examines security cost of climate change

In the framework of the Geneva Peace Week, a new platform has been launched uniting scientists and policymakers in order to help assess the risk of and respond to crises caused by natural disasters linked to climate change.


New solutions for environmental cooperation are expected to result from the exchange, which was launched at an event hosted by UNEP as this year’s chair of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) and the University of Geneva on 17 November.


“Through implementing ENVSEC projects on the ground, we came to realise how important it is to transform current thinking to appreciate how deeply the environment and natural resources relate to our security concerns, and how the environment is at risk due to political tensions and lack of security,” said Jan Dusik, UNEP Director and Regional Representative.


The new initiative, known as the Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security, will see annual meetings take place to address existing and emerging environmental risks and tensions in the overall context of global issues.


During the platform’s launch, academia and Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of UN member states exchanged views on the effects of climate change already taking place in Europe.


Participants considered security implications for the future, such as mass migration from climate change-affected regions and humanitarian crises resulting from increasingly probable natural disasters. A discussion also took place on tools already applied by various stakeholders to combat climate change and the lessons that can be learned from other regions.


“As we are embarking on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, building knowledge is vital to integrating environmental sustainability and ecosystem management in the political agenda of states,” Mr Dusik underlined.


The Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) is a partnership of five international organisations, including UNEP, working to reduce environment and security risks through strengthened cooperation among and within countries in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus and South-Eastern Europe.


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