The security of individuals, communities and nations is profoundly affected by environmental change – population movements, conflicts over water and other natural resources, political and economic instability caused by food and energy prices, and sea level rise are just a few examples. In addition, the ways in which nations choose to pursue their security objectives, through military, diplomatic, and humanitarian means, have significant environmental consequences.
Reduced Arctic summer sea ice (climate change); water supplies to central Chile and droughts in India (water and climate change); deforestation driven by energy needs in Uganda and much of sub-Saharan Africa (energy security); civil unrest around food prices in Indonesia, Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, and Yemen (food security); Harmful Algal Blooms in Puget Sound (health security); and environmental aspects of U.S. Homeland Security (water and health). These are just some of many regional case studies that emphasize the important reality of these issues and provide lessons to decision-makers at all levels. The conference will explore such case studies throughout.
Models and simulations are core tools to understanding where and when risks are greatest and for assisting decision-making at all levels. The conference will address how to advance various models and simulations in support of better decision-making.
Given that the impacts of many environmental changes are certain to occur, communities need to increase their resilience to these changes. How to build resilient communities in the face of environmental security threats will differ in Santiago, India, Nebraska, Tokyo, Uganda, and Yemen, with distinctly different environments, economies, infrastructures and cultures. However, many strategies are adaptable to various situations. Lessons and skills can cross borders.
Development, diplomacy and military strategies can be integrated with science, education, and politics to maximize human safety and human advancement in environmentally sustainable ways.
Conference participants will also develop strategies that advance understanding and mitigation, as well as increase the resilience of communities and regions against environmental security threats.
Conference participants will launch new partnerships, initiatives, and "communities of practice" that respond to environmental security challenges.