“The geopolitics of the twenty-first century may well be the geopolitics of scarcity—of land, of food, of water, of energy,” write the authors of Environmental Change and the New Security Agenda: Implications for Canada’s security and environment
, a new report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The report says current approaches to environmental issues are “short-sighted” and calls for international acknowledgement that the environment is not a “soft” security issue.
“Climate change is today one of the main drivers of forced displacement,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told The Guardian
in an interview. He warned that the number of people displaced is rising dramatically and will continue to do so
, and that global funding has failed to keep pace with the growing challenge. He also noted that existing legal structures to manage refugee flows are out of touch with the increasing influence of climate change.
“The world’s poorest of the poor live in the toughest areas of the planet—the drylands,” says recent ECSP speaker Masego Madzwamuse in the BBC’s latest Green Room feature. She argues that “humanitarian and food relief follow the TV headlines,” and that only sustained and concerted efforts respecting indigenous experience and wisdom will be able to ease the plight of the world’s “dryland dwellers.”
The 2008 EPD WaterAid Madagascar team at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs presented its findings in WaterAid Madagascar: Valuating Economic and Social Impacts of Improved Water and Sanitation Services. The team found that “Madagascar’s development goals could be significantly advanced by adequate water and sanitation services” and encouraged increased public awareness of the links between access to safe water and sanitation services and economic development.
The Population Council has released a new working paper, “Fertility transitions in developing countries: Progress or stagnation?” While recent declines in fertility levels in developing countries have led many to assume that the trend will continue, the paper finds that fertility rates in many countries have in fact stalled, a trend that could have long-term security implications worldwide.