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The Concept of Human Security. Climate Change as a Threat.

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Presentation on theme: "The Concept of Human Security. Climate Change as a Threat."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Concept of Human Security. Climate Change as a Threat.
Triantafyllos Karatrantos, University of the Aegean GOSEM 2013, Rethimnon

2 Security as a Bicycle «Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving», Albert Einstein The post- cold war evolution of security Broadening and Widening Process

3 Human Security “Human security is a child who did not die, a disease that did not spread, a job that was not cut, an ethnic tension that did not explode in violence, a dissident who was not silenced. Human security is not a concern with weapons – it is a concern with human life and dignity…It is concerned with how people live and breathe in a society, how freely they exercise their many choices, how much access they have to market and social opportunities – and whether they live in conflict or in peace.” UNDP, 1994

4 An Ancient Phenomenon Human insecurity is an ancient phenomenon
Famine, war, drought, flood, wild animals, plague, and enslavement appear in ancient writings across the world Tales of Gilgamesh, written about 2000 BC tell about floods and scorpions Human insecurity is not an innovative creation of our times What has changed are the types of threats and the institutional capabilities to address them.

5 Security for Whom? The entire concept of security will change – and change dramatically Human security is not about states and nations, but about individuals and people more normatively, “We need to fashion a new concept of human security that is reflected in the lives of our people, not in the weapons of our country.”

6 On Which Values? individual safety and well being in the broad sense are the primary values Traditional state of security emphasizes territorial integrity and national independence Human security pertains safety and well-being of “all the people everywhere – in their homes, in their jobs, in their streets, in their communities, in their environment”.

7 The Range of HS

8 The Major Threats? According to UNDP Human Security has seven elements: Economic security/threat: poverty Food security/threat: hunger and famine Health security/threat: injury and disease Environmental security/threat: pollution, environmental degradation and resource depletion Personal security/threat: various forms of violence Community security/threat: to the integrity of cultures Political security/threat: political repression


10 Why Human Security? Why is human security an appropriate focus of attention at this time? mechanisms to address new security threats not exist/ oversight or emergence of new threats rather than deliberate design configuration of security threats in this post-Cold War period is fundamentally different/ unprecedented threats the opportunities to address the threats have also increased “there is an enhanced possibility in the contemporary world to put our efforts and understanding together to achieve a better coordinated resistance to the forces that make human survival so insecure.” (Amartya Sen)


12 How can be achieved? “development, not…through arms.”, five steps are necessary: a human development conception with emphasis on equity, sustainability, and grassroots participation; a peace dividend to underwrite the broader agenda of human security; a new partnership between North and South based on “justice, not charity” which emphasizes “equitable access to global market opportunities” and economic restructuring; a new framework of global governance built on reform of international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and United Nations; and finally, a growing role for Global Civil Society

13 The Altered Security Environment
The altered Security Environment can be sketched by different descriptions of recent changes in the security environment: empirical, analytical, and institutional.

14 Empirically Observable Changes
Empirical accounts of rising threats are exceedingly familiar, and reach us nearly daily The nature of conflict has shifted to intra-state conflict, with higher incidence of civilian casualties

15 Description of Threats
Population pressures, immigration trends, environmental insecurity. The economic crisis dropped large populations roughly into unanticipated poverty Spread of HIV/AIDS and Pandemics international criminal activity, nuclear proliferation, drug- resistant disease, technological mishaps, conflicts across gender, class, ethnicity, or religion

16 Analytical Advances theoretical, qualitative, and quantitative analyses unravel the form the basis for recommendations for action operational responses in part by discovering interconnections such as the insight that famines are not inevitable results of a lack of food supply (Logic of Interconnections) there has never been a famine in a country with a free press. (Amartya Sen)

17 The Case of HS the urgency of the problems produces a search for insights that can be leveraged to safeguard human security central example: the interrelationship between poverty and conflict Other interrelationship of Human Insecurity: AIDS and information technology post conflict crime and job-sharing, etc.

18 International Cooperation
The institutional configurations and capabilities to address security threats are changing rapidly, both within countries and internationally Military configurations are changing in response to distinct threats Increased collaboration among development agencies and national governments, and the elaboration of common goals has started to enable the international community to address more dimensions of poverty Coordination has likewise increased in the private sector: within firms, in various fora and financial institutions, and in annual summits.

19 The Unsatisfactory Division
Despite these advances, a deep and unsatisfactory division remains between emergency relief work and long-term poverty reduction work “Organizationally speaking, the international community has two separate compartments, humanitarian and development, to respond to war-torn societies. However, the need of these societies does not fall into two neat categories. The reality demands much more simultaneous relief, rehabilitation and development interventions”. (Sen)

20 Climate Change Climate change represents the latest in a series of environmental drivers of human conflict (drought, desertification, land degradation, failing water supplies, deforestation, fisheries depletion, and even ozone depletion) dealing effectively with climate change would necessitate drastic changes to the use of fossil fuels, climate change quickly became an economic and energy policy issue. Τhe language of climate change has shifted once again. Climate change is now being recast as a threat to international peace and security.

21 Climate Change as a Threat
Over the long term, climate change will lead to additional resource scarcity and environmental degradation, and may thus amplify or trigger social and political tensions, conflicts and security problems. The impacts of climate change will thus additionally impair the capacity of societies to transform conflicts in a constructive and peaceful manner, and will constrain the capacity of state institutions to deliver key services and ensure public order and stability climate change is best viewed as a threat multiplier, which may create or exacerbate insecurities and tensions from the individual to the international level.

22 The 3 Linkages climate change can be linked to security mainly through three basic ways Contribute to violent conflict and disputes from the local to the international level. Lead to state fragility, radicalization and degrading state capacities to implement policies. Degrade human security and livelihoods via increased risks of disasters, food insecurity, energy poverty etc.

23 A multi-dimensional concept

24 Forms of Conflicts The Report, under the title, «Climate Change and International Security» outlines some of the forms of conflicts: Conflict over resources, Economic damage and risk to coastal cities and critical infrastructure, Loss of territory and border disputes, Environmentally-induced migration, Situations of fragility and radicalization, Tension over energy supply, Pressure on international governance

25 UN In 1987, the «Brundtland Report» introduces in the discussion the notion of environmental security. In 1994, UNDP described the concept of Human Security, with environmental threats being its basic pillar. In “2004 Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change”, climate change was listed as a threat to human security and as a “threat multiplier”. In 2007, after the suggestion of the United Kingdom, a discussion about Climate, Energy and Security took place in the Security Council. The General Assembly of the United Nations (U.N.) adopted on 3 June 2009 a draft resolution on “Climate change and its possible security implications” (A/63/281), which has been proposed by the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS). The resolution was adopted by a consensus and 101 states supported it. For the first time in the history of the U.N., the United States co-sponsored a climate protection resolution.

26 OSCE As part of its comprehensive approach to security, the OSCE is concerned with economic and environmental matters, recognizing that co-operation in these areas can contribute to peace, prosperity and stability. A member of ENVSEC since 2004, OSCE --through the Office for Economic and Environmental Activities-- publishes reports, collects information and supports the civic action for environment and security. OSCE Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension (Maastricht Strategy) listed climate change as the basic environmental threat to security. In 2009 OSCE formed the Civic Action for Security and Environment (CASE), a small grant programme which supports civil society organizations in addressing --in co-operation with their governments— environmental security issues. Finally, OSCE considers water scarcity as one of the most imminent security threats to South- Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus.

27 NATO Based on a broad definition of security that recognizes the importance of political, economic, social and environmental factors, NATO is addressing security challenges emanating from the environment. This includes extreme weather conditions, depletion of natural resources, pollution and so on – factors that can ultimately lead to disasters, regional tensions and violence. NATO is currently conducting these initiatives via its Science for Peace and Security programme, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and Partnership for Peace Trust Fund projects. It is considering enhancing its efforts in this area, with a focus on civil emergencies, energy efficiency and renewable power, and on helping member and partner countries address the impact of climate change in vulnerable regions.

28 EU Climate change is one of the biggest challenges mankind faces in the coming years. Rising temperatures, melting glaciers and increasingly frequent droughts and flooding are all evidence that climate change is really happening. The risks for the whole planet and for future generations are colossal and we need to take urgent action. For several years now the European Union has been committed to tackling climate change both internally and internationally and has placed it high on the EU agenda. «Global warming and environmental degradation is altering the face of our planet» Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy - Providing Security in a Changing World – p.1

29 The “American perspective”
USA perceived climate change as a threat to national security. According to NIC while the United States "is better equipped than most nations to deal with climate change," the impact on other countries has the "potential to seriously affect U.S. national security interests." Climate change was mentioned as a global challenge for security and prosperity in page 8 of the National Security Strategy Document «Climate change and pandemic disease threaten the security of regions and the health and safety of the American people». Natural disasters and growing competition for resources listed as threats in the National Defense Strategy, p. 1 and in p. 5 «The interaction of these changes with existing and future resource, environmental, and climate pressures may generate new security challenges. »

30 The “European Perspective” (Germany and Denmark)
For European countries, and especially for Germany and Denmark environmental security is part of their political and strategic culture. Since the 1990’s those two countries have integrated the linkages of the environment with security and foreign policy to their policies. After 2001 and the Millennium Development Goals Germany and Denmark posed their attention to climate change and international security. In 2007 two major reports, one for each country, branded the analysis for Climate change as a security threat. Germany through WBGU, German Advisory Council on Climate Change, and Denmark through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development). Both the reports listed Climate Change as a threat to International Security and addressing institutional responses.

31 The Southern Mediterranean 1
The region is already one of the regions with high water scarcity and severe drought. Population growth and the precipitation decline in the region, the access to safe drinking water and to green water for agriculture will further worsen. (distributional conflicts) Both in the MENA region and in the Nile river basin the countries which will suffer the greatest water stress are generally those which already lack the political and institutional framework necessary for the adaptation of water and crisis management systems. Overstretch existing conflict resolution mechanisms, ultimately leading to destabilization and violence.



34 Southern Mediterranean 2
Climate change will likely lead to a severe reduction in available food and water resources, while demands will likely continue to rise due to population growth and economic development. This could lead to economic stagnation, social dissatisfaction and grievances, and weakened authorities. States may increasingly show uncooperative behavior over the use of trans boundary water resources.


36 Southern Mediterranean 3
Ultimately, these changes may fuel extremism, but also erode tolerance and impact civil liberties as well as political rights if the situation deteriorates. As the region is already suffering from tense social, political and economic situations, climate change may become a significant burden overstretching the adaptation capacities of institutions.

37 ‘Lessons learned’ from global and regional institutions
In the face of such challenges, it is crucial that the International Community and its institutions take effective action with regard to: Predicting Instability. This entails increased monitoring, risk assessments, and early warning in an effort to discern dangers of impending and future conflicts at an early stage. Preventing Conflict. This encompasses a range of policy instruments and measures intended to avoid a situation where increasing pressures translate into growing tensions and armed conflict. Managing Conflict. Of course, there are conflict situations (such as Darfur) that are the product of environmental and associated pressures. These, and possible future cases, need to be dealt with more effectively, in an effort to end violence and counter instability. Recovery and Transition. Even after a conflict has been terminated, there are continued challenges. There is a high risk that countries emerging from conflict will fall back into war and violence. To work towards a sustainable peace, post- conflict restoration and reconstruction will need to encompass environmental and resource aspects.

38 ‘Lessons learned’ from states policies
Intelligence Agencies should incorporate climate consequences into its Intelligences Estimates. National Security Strategy should directly address the threat of climate change to the state’s national security interests. The National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy should include appropriate guidance to military planners to assess risks to current and future missions of projected climate change, guidance for updating defense plans based on these assessments, and the capabilities needed to reduce future impacts. Evaluate preparedness for natural disasters from extreme weather events, pandemic disease events, and other missions. Evaluate the capacity of the military and other institutions to respond to the consequences of climate change. All levels of government need to be involved in these efforts to provide capacity and resiliency to respond and adapt.

39 Future Agenda Awareness Raising it is necessary to keep the topic of climate change and its impact on international security high on the international agenda to ensure follow-up action. Further Research: Knowledge regarding climate change impacts is still very limited beyond the general global trends. Further research and analysis on regional and national levels, starting with pilot regions and countries, is necessary. International System Development: The different international frameworks working on issues related to climate change – mitigation and adaptation, emission trading, food, water, energy, etc. – need to be linked and integrated to allow for a comprehensive approach.

40 The Mismatch Technology as well as political changes has increased the possibility of effective coordination; scientific advances continue to expand our knowledge base; resources to address security threats are partially forthcoming. Thus whatever currently jeopardizes human security, the problem lies in the mismatch between security threats and response mechanisms.

41 Conclusion: Stick to HS
Empirical descriptions of security threats are essential to gauging the size and depth of a threat, to assessing how critical and pervasive it is or could be, and thus to mapping the landscape of security threats. The deepening analysis of interdependent insecurities provides a further reason to pursue HS, because individual recognize that there are considerable benefits from addressing interrelated variables jointly In parallel with threats collaborative possibilities “escalated” positively, but there remains the need (and the possibility) to establish new institutions or institutional measures to address HS.

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