2019 has only just begun, but it is already hard to imagine that there will be other extreme weather events with disastrous consequences such as cyclone Idai happening again this year. In all likelihood, such events will continue to occur as 2019 rolls on. Idai is, once more, proof of how devastating and toxic the mix of climate change, extreme weather events and poverty can be: Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe – countries that rank low in human development but contribute very little to global greenhouse gas emissions – suffer from some of the worst impacts of climate change.
With the UN climate summit in New York at the end of September 2019 coming closer, the question of whether all countries are fully aware of the need for more immediate and additional efforts still remains. While at the very least some attention is being paid to this urgency (such as the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement), there are other risks which warrant more attention to prevent future humanitarian crises.
Thanks to the UN Environment Frontiers series, there is now a fresh and timely look on new scientific insights into the trends and challenges which may cause potential environmental and climate-related risks that we may otherwise neglect today. Among these risks (and sometimes promises) are, for example, gene-editing techniques which are advancing rapidly, the impacts of further degradation of climate-critical permafrost peatlands, and the risks of maladaptation to climate change. All these risks require policymakers to engage proactively and foresightedly to develop sustainable, long-term policy and governance planning for future generations.
To that end, the interactive ECC platform has been providing the most recent and sound information for more than 15 years. Part of these efforts has been the touring exhibition "Environment, Conflict and Cooperation", which has been displayed more than 50 times throughout since 2005in five different languages! The updated and expanded online version of the exhibition is now available online, and we hope that you will use it as actively as the other sections of the platform.
75 years ago, the UN was born. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN looks back at several important achievements, but much work on persisting challenges still lies ahead. Increased UN engagement in three areas can make the region more resilient to future challenges.
Insecurity is plaguing north-western Nigeria, due to persistent herder-farmer tensions, rising crime and infiltration by Islamist militants. Federal and state authorities should focus on resolving conflict between agrarian and pastoralist communities, through dialogue and resource-sharing agreements, while also stepping up law enforcement.
The scope of national security is expanding beyond violent threats to encompass a broader array of dangers. In an article for World Politics Review, CFR's Stewart M. Patrick assesses the implications of COVID-19 and climate change for the theory and practice of national security.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous parallels have been drawn between this health crisis and the climate crisis. Science plays an important role in advising decision makers on how to ensure sustainable crisis management and a precautionary approach to avoid harmful repercussions, particularly where we do not yet know all the consequences of our actions. [...]