Peacefully resolving the overriding political, economic and social concerns of our time requires a multifaceted approach, including mechanisms to address the links between the natural environment and human security. UNDP, UNEP, OSCE and NATO have joined forces in the Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative to offer countries their combined pool of expertise and resources towards that aim.
What is Environment and Security Initiative about?
There is growing understanding that environmental degradation, inequitable access to critical natural resources and transboundary movement of hazardous materials increase the probability of conflict and thereby pose a risk to human and even national security. For example transboundary pollution often affects negatively the relations between neighbouring states. Also health risks and involuntary migration due to water scarcity, uncontrolled stocks of obsolete pesticides or other forms of hazardous waste have been identified as threats to stability and peace.
Ongoing disputes and disagreements over the management of natural resources shared by two or more states, can deepen divides and lead to hostilities. But common problems regarding the use of natural resources may also bring people together in a positive way. Communities and different nations can build confidence with each other by joint efforts to improve the state and management of nature. Environmental co-operation can thereby act as an important means for preventing conflicts and promoting peace between communities.
This project seeks to facilitate a process whereby key public decision-makers in South Eastern and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Caucasus are able to motivate action to advance and protect peace and the environment at the same time.