Disasters and conflicts



Through implementing ENVSEC projects on the ground, we came to realize how important it is to transform current thinking to appreciate how deeply the environment and natural resources are linked to security concerns, and how the environment is at risk due to political tensions and lack of security

Jan Dusik

Director and Regional Representative, UNEP Regional Office for Europe, at the launch of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security, November 2015.

Linking science and decision-makers

The Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) is a partnership of five international organisations - including UNEP - aiming to contribute to the reduction of environment and security risks through strengthened cooperation among and within countries in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus, and South-Eastern Europe. This is done through assessment studies and supporting dialogue on the transboundary management of natural resources in conflict areas for example.

As a result of ENVSEC projects, “the importance of knowledge emerged when integrating environmental sustainability and ecosystem management into national political agendas,” Mr Dusik notes – “especially as we embark on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

A new Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security (GSPP) co-hosted by UNEP and partners is therefore linking leading scientific thought with the decision-making community.

GSPP was launched on November 17, 2015 in Geneva by UNEP in partnership with the University of Geneva and was attended by high-level guests from the permanent missions based in the Swiss city, ENVSEC partner agencies, international organisations and academia represented by the University of Geneva.

During the launch, participants exchanged views on the effects of climate change already underway, and the security implications for the future.

The space will serve as a network supplying knowledge and technical expertise and is expected to lead to new solutions to challenges in the field of environment and security, including climate change and mass migration.