Relationship between environment and national security

relationship between environment and national security

PDF | On Jan 17, , John M. Lanicci and others published ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY: EXPLORING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE. The relation between the environment and the security of humans and nature has been the object of important dimension of peace, national security. Environmental security examines threats posed by environmental events and trends to A conflict before the International Court of Justice between Chile and Peru about In the academic sphere environmental security is defined as the relationship Ullman offered the following definition of national security threat as "an.

Essentially, the circumstances under which environmental change should be considered a security issue, is dependent on the definition of security. The advantage of this definition is that it maintains the broad nature of the human security agenda, whilst differentiating between security and other general concepts such as development.

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The definition implies that security is subjective, and therefore has different meaning to each individual, dependent on their personal situation. These four characteristics also apply to environmental change, particularly its relationship with security.

Robert Kaplan, in his landmark essay, The Coming Anarchy, illustrates the linkages between environmental degradation and security. As Kaplan argues, we are seeing the image of a bifurcated world more prominently with the increasing severity of climate change. He illustrates the disparities between the North and South by referring to the various states of humankind and the inequalities between them.

relationship between environment and national security

Unfortunately, however, he lacks empirical evidence to support his claims. However, this attempt to include environmental change in the security agenda has its limitations. The Report set out to redefine security, challenging traditional thoughts of security.

Rather than trying to redefine security, or broaden the agenda to include environmental change, analyses of the relationship between the environment and security must be made, and linkages made clear, especially when referring to the relationship between the environment and conflict.

Furthermore, rather than redefining security overall, the notion that environmental change is a credible threat to state security must be examined. This requires a slightly different approach than realists traditionally subscribe to; the threats of violence or civil unrest that environmental change poses are generally intra-state, which have the potential to have a spill-over effect and cross borders.

This can be seen in instances of mass migrations and the destabilizing of regions, especially when a nation is landlocked.

relationship between environment and national security

This is particularly problematic for realists, as they prescribe the use of force as a solution to security issues. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence to substantiate claims of violence erupting purely over environmental degradation. It has been argued that in conflicts such as Rwanda and Haiti, resource scarcity, land degradation and water scarcity have contributed to conflict, but we are yet to see a conflict that is entirely environmentally-motivated.

Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment, challenges the view that Darfur is primarily an environmentally motivated conflict.

Reconsidering the Environment-Security Relationship

It does, however, acknowledge the role of the environment, and states that climate change, desertification and land degradation are indeed major factors in the conflict. The report also identifies the conditions necessary for sustainable peace in the region, which is only possible if the environmental stresses are resolved. The inclusion of environmental change in the security agenda is controversial, and fraught with implications.

There are also contending views regarding the referent object of security, despite attempts to redefine security based around notions of the protection and rights of the individual, rather than the state. Essentially, when determining whether an issue should be included in a security agenda, there are many contending views. Securitization is entirely dependent on the definition of security itself, and the context in which the issue is to be securitized. In the instance of environmental change, it has contributed to both a broadening and a deepening of the security agenda, however it has not received the attention that it deserves.

A critical approach to the environment-security relationship is paramount to successfully conceptualizing environmental change in world politics.

A critical approach forces us to rethink key questions surrounding security, such as what is security, what is the environment and who is the referent object of security.

Environmental security

Different theories of security explain different aspects of securitization, and it is necessary to position the environment-security relationship between these, rather than redefining security itself. Climate change poses threats that are largely uncertain, and difficult to quantify, however have the potential to be catastrophic.

This speculative nature of climate change forces institutions, especially governments, to consider the long-term implications of the environment-security relationship, and facilitate the change to a more sustainable way of life.

There is potential for this to lead to mass migrations, and the emergence of environmental refugees, particularly in the Asia Pacific regions, where scientific evidence has already shown accelerated rates of submerging islands. To reach a consensus on the securitization of the environment, there needs to be a focus on the relationship between the environment and pre-existing conceptions of security, on analytical, empirical and normative grounds, rather than attempting to redefine security as a whole.

Coming Conflicts in the Middle East. Lynne Rienner Commission on Human Security. Australian Journal of Politics and History 51 2June Environmental security is environmental viability for life support, with three sub-elements: It considers the abilities of individuals, communities or nations to cope with environmental riskschanges or conflicts, or limited natural resources. For example, climate change can be viewed a threat to environmental security. Human activity impacts CO2 emissions, impacting regional and global climatic and environmental changes and thus changes in agricultural output.

This can lead to food shortages which will then cause political debate, ethnic tension, and civil unrest. Within international development, projects may aim to improve aspects of environmental security such as food security or water securitybut also connected aspects such as energy securitythat are now recognised as Sustainable Development Goals at UN level.

Target 7B is about the security of fisheries on which many people depend for food. Fisheries are an example of a resource that cannot be contained within state borders.

A conflict before the International Court of Justice between Chile and Peru about maritime borders and their associated fisheries [3] is a case study for environmental security.

relationship between environment and national security

History[ edit ] The Copenhagen School defines the referent object of environmental security as the environment, or some strategic part of it. As tensions between the superpowers eased after the collapse of the Soviet Union, academic discussions of definitions of security significantly expanded to encompass a far broader range of threats to peace, including, particularly, environmental threats associated with the political implications of resource use or pollution.

Environmental security - Wikipedia

By the mids, this field of study was becoming known as "environmental security". Despite a wide range of semantic and academic debates over terms, it is now widely acknowledged that environmental factors play both direct and indirect roles in both political disputes and violent conflicts.

In the academic sphere environmental security is defined as the relationship between security concerns such as armed conflict and the natural environment.

relationship between environment and national security

A small but rapidly developing field, it has become particularly relevant for those studying resource scarcity and conflict in the developing world. Origins[ edit ] According to Jon Barnett, environmental security emerged as an important concept in security studies because of some interrelated developments which started in s.

The first one was the increasing level of environmental consciousness in so called developed countries. Rachel Carson 's well-known book Silent Spring was one of the extraordinary publications of that time and brought greater degree of environmental awareness among ordinary people by warning them of the dangers to all natural systems including animals and food chain from the misuse of chemical pesticides such as DDT.

Whilst Carson undoubtedly contributed to public debate at the time she was arguably not amongst the more radical 'social revolutionaries' who were also urging greater public awareness of environmental issues. These two commentators asserted in their book that the notion of security can no longer be centered only on military power, rather nations should collectively take measurements against common environmental problems since they pose threat to national well-being and thus international stability.

relationship between environment and national security