A high-level ministerial conference in Berlin is looking at the impact of climate change on regional security in Central Asia. The aim is to foster stronger regional cooperation, improve the exchange of information and form connections with academia and civil society.
Climate change has manifold effects on foreign and security policy. Rising sea levels, desertification and the destruction of ecosystems are increasingly threatening to deprive people of their livelihoods, thus jeopardising the stability of states and societies. In Central Asia and Afghanistan, climate change has had a particularly severe impact on water, land and soils, among other things due to the melting of mountain glaciers.
With its Green Central Asia initiative, the Federal Foreign Office intends to support regional integration between the six Central Asian countries concerned with a view to fostering the dialogue on the consequences of climate change and the risks associated with it. Germany is pursuing a preventive and stabilising foreign policy in the region and, to this end, is supporting the European Union’s strategy for Central Asia, which was adopted in June 2019.
A high-level conference took place at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on 28 January 2020 with the aim of strengthening cooperation in the region as well as the exchange between policy-makers, academia and civil society. In addition to Foreign Minister Maas, who is hosted the event, colleagues from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took part in the conference. A joint declaration on cooperation in the field of climate and security was signed.
This includes the spheres of water and glacier protection in particular, energy, biodiversity, land management and agriculture and is to be implemented at national and regional level. The aim of the Green Central Asia initiative is to create better access to information and promote academic cooperation in the Central Asian states and Afghanistan during the next four years. The concrete implementation of the declaration is to be underpinned by a high-level political dialogue format.
In addition to the high-level Minister segment, the Green Central Asia conference also included an exchange with academia and civil society. The cooperation between the different players in Germany and on the ground is one of the explicit goals of the project. Its overarching approach is intended to create synergies and bring together expertise from many different areas. For more information on the conference and project, please click here.
The best resource for all of our 21st Century Diplomacy: Foreign Policy Is Climate Policy content is the official website, hosted by the Wilson Center and adelphi. But the ECC editors are also collecting the topics here for eager readers.
What exactly triggers food riots? At which point does climate change come in? And what can we learn from analyzing the lack and impotence of government action in conflict areas? In our Editor’s Pick, we share 10 case studies from the interactive ECC Factbook that address the connections between food, the environment and conflict. They show how agriculture and rural livelihoods can affect stability in a country, which parties are involved in food conflicts and what possible solutions are on the table.
Tensions in the South China Sea increased last April when a Chinese coast guard ship sank a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracel Islands—a fiercely disputed territory in the South China Sea. Disputes over island territories in the region have endured for decades, with China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei all making overlapping territorial claims. The region is rich in natural resources and biodiversity, holding vast fish stocks and an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 cubic feet of natural gas.
Without a coordinated strategy to tackle flooding disasters beyond the traditional infrastructural measures and river water sharing agreements, South Asia’s woes will continue in the future.