The third annual Planetary Security Conference met in The Hague, on 12 and 13 December 2017, to discuss ways to take action on the linked risks of climate change and security.
Climate-related risks are a key factor – and at times a key driver – of human insecurity and conflict. Over the past ten years, understanding and awareness of these risks have increased tremendously. The Hague Declaration urges action on six issues, climate security, climate change impacts on migration, urban resilience, Lake Chad Basin, Mali, and Iraq. The full text can be found here.
From Drylands to Cities
For the Planetary Security Conference Cordaid, together with its partner PBL (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency) had organized two sessions. One session discussed the issue of drylands: From Drylands to Cities: strategies for coping with dryland migration.
Zeituna Roba, Partners for Resilience country lead for Kenya, discussed how environmental and man-made hazards increasingly stretch people’s capacities beyond coping levels, and development gains are made undone by more frequent disaster situations. Without action, these developments and prospects keep people trapped in a vicious circle of poverty and vulnerability.
Improving living conditions in drylands, reducing the environmental risks and improving the social perspectives and security is complex. It requires an integrated approach encompassing improving the physical conditions with better land and water management, diversified production schemes, involving the local communities for building thrust and collaborative networks, embedding solutions in the cultural environment, providing adequate services and schooling for development and innovation.
Zeituna underlined that long-term strategies, dedication and investments in innovative ecosystem-based developments and sustainable intensification of the agricultural sector will be needed for structural improvements. In the subsequent roundtable discussions, participants to the session agreed that community participation and multi-stakeholder engagements are crucial for the sustainable development of dryland areas. For more information on the session click here.
Watch this video about the session ‘From Drylands to Cities’:
Climate Change, Cities and Conflict
The second session discussed bridging the gap between the formal and informal city world against the background of the nexus between Climate Change, Cities and Conflict. Between now and 2050 the complete expected growth of the world population of nearly 2.5 billion people will occur in urban regions. Worldwide, urbanization takes place while resources are depleting and the quality of ecosystems deteriorates. As a result, cities will become more and more vulnerable to stress and conflicts over resources like food, water and energy.
At the same time, they will also face stresses over safe habitation space due to climate-related risks like flooding. The poor are particularly vulnerable to these risks. So how can we build resilient cities that are taking inclusivity, sustainability, and secure livelihoods as starting points?
Watch this video about the session ‘Climate Change, Cities and Conflict’: