IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsResiliency and Environmental Change in South Asia

 

print print  |  share share back back


Flooding in Sri Lanka, 2010. Credit: Nonviolent Peaceforce/Flickr

Panel Discussions - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Resiliency and Environmental Change in South Asia

Responding to climate change and environmental risks in fragile states needs to be approached at the local level, looking at the root causes of vulnerability and addressing these factors to build resiliency. These were the key takeaways from a roundtable discussion, co-hosted by the International Peace Institute (IPI) and International Alert, held at IPI on May 15th.The roundtable featured Janani Vivekenanda of International Alert, Samuel Doe of the United Nations Development Programme, and Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Center.

The following insights emerged from the discussion:

1. Climate change and conflict are interrelated, yet little attention has been given to understanding the complex relationship on the ground. Climate change intensifies conflict, while conflict poses significant challenges to adapting to environmental change.

2. Environmental risks related to climate change plays a role in migration which contributes to conflicts between host communities and settlers. Although migration can benefit communities that rely on remittances, for others, the impact can outweigh the financial benefits. Migration also increases competition for scarce resources, such as water, in host communities that are often unprepared for the influx of people.

3. At the policy level, effective strategies should consider variability and uncertainty. Climate and environmental change affects communities in ways that are different from past experiences. Research and policy responses should understand granularity in diverse contexts, address governance issues and the underlying factors of vulnerability to climate and conflict, and strengthen local resiliency in order to effectively target the most marginalized.

4. Reorganizing communities is a key challenge. Many vulnerable societies are dependent on climate sensitive agricultural livelihoods. Better access to education is needed for the next generation in order to increase alternatives to income.

5. Climate change is a global issue with a local impact. More focus should be given to strengthening local resiliency and increasing the capacity to adapt to future environmental risks. In fragile states, local communities can take on key governance roles in managing resources while national policy can provide the necessary support.

Download text as meeting brief

The Global Observatory

In Light of Scottish Referendum, What Future for Frustrated Secessionists?
As secessionist movements proliferate around the world, a look at what leads some to succeed and others to fail.

Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

September 25, 2014
Estonian President: Russia’s Actions Threaten International System
On September 25th, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia warned that Russia’s recent aggression in Ukraine is a threat to the norms of the international system as we know them, and that it may lead to a drastic reassessment of foreign policy priorities in Europe.

September 22, 2014
Kevin Rudd, Former Australian PM, to Chair Independent Commission on Multilateralism
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, will chair the newly launched Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM). The Commission will be co-chaired by Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway, and John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada.

September 22, 2014
IPI Hosts Ministers, Officials at Annual Mideast Dinner
On Monday, September 22nd, IPI held its Ninth Ministerial Dinner on the Middle East in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The working dinner saw the participation of foreign ministers and other high-level representatives from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and beyond.

View More