October 2, 2012Climate change and security in the Pan-European region will be the focus of discussion at this year's Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) Partners Meeting on Wednesday, October 3 at the UN House in Brussels.
The annual meeting, which brings together international organisations, donors, government representatives, and experts, provides a platform to debate issues of concern in the field of environment and security, and to examine activities within ENVSEC's projects. In recent years climate change has been recognised as a core development challenge that carries potentially serious implications for international peace and security.
The impact of climate change in the ENVSEC regions of Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and South Eastern Europe is clear. A 2011 ENVSEC study estimated glaciers in Central Asia have shrunk by up to 30 percent in the last 50 years. Recent floods in Eastern Europe have devastated communities. Wildfires are increasingly frequent in the Southern Caucasus. In South Eastern Europe, warmer temperatures and less rain mean reduced water levels for the agricultural and energy sectors.
At the same time, growing resource constraints are beginning to diminish significant economic potential from the economies of the European nations. Through increasing water scarcity, climate change will impact food security and energy security. The impacts of climate change will require adaptation and early action from local to regional levels. As the risk of disasters, such as droughts and floods, increases, resilience and preparedness become more important.
The October meeting is expected to highlight a number of key areas where joint vision and action are needed in the field of environment and security.