Fruitful discussions at the Planetary Security Initiative

On the 5th and 6th of December 2016, Dr. Tobias Schmitz and Nynke Schaap attended the Planetary Security Conference at the Peace Palace in the Hague, the Netherlands.

The Planetary Security Initiative was launched by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with a consortium of six key organisations and aims to build bridges between individuals and institutions working on global environmental stresses on the one hand, and individuals and institutions working on human security on the other hand. The conference links environmental pressure to security issues and has the ambition to build an alliance of organisations working on the linkage between these themes. Water security is an important theme at this conference, including themes such as climate resilience and transboundary cooperation.

This conference gave a unique opportunity for GIWEH to engage with diverse stakeholders and join interesting work group sessions. On December 5th, Dr. Tobias Schmitz met, amongst others, with Dr. Hammou Laamrani, the leading coordinator regional policy dialogue on the water-food-energy nexus of Arab states. Their discussion evolved around the implication of the nexus approach and how the SDGs and their indicators should be included in the approach. GIWEH also took part in working group discussions on building resilience by linking climate change adaptation to peacebuilding, on governance and policy as well as on transboundary water issues.

The Planetary Security Initiative was a good opportunity for GIWEH to network and update its expertise on climate change and other environmental pressures, which are likely to trigger conflict. While climate change can be a catalyst for conflict, good governance can be a catalyst for peace building. This includes not only addressing technical but also socio-economic aspects, including peoples’ inter-relationships. Speakers at the conference emphasized the need for more cooperation, at the level of implementation but also at the planning stage, to increase knowledge.

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