Fresh water is an indispensable resource for human life and ecosystem health. A considerable amount of fresh water resources accessible for human use are shared between two or more countries. Around the world, there are 286 transboundary river basins, and 148 countries include territory within one or more of these basins. Contrary to expectations, internationally shared water resources have long acted as a source of cooperation rather than conflict between riparian states.
Women are at the forefront of climate change, facing disproportionately high risks to their health, education, food security and livelihoods. The gendered impacts of climate change are particularly strong in the case of climate-induced disasters and are exacerbated in contexts of violent conflict, fragility and extreme poverty. At the same time, women can be important agents of change in adaptation and peacebuilding. Disaster management can provide opportunities to overcome traditional gender roles and strengthen women’s voices in decision-making.
2015 was a historic year for international commitments to sustainable development, climate change action, and new kinds of peacebuilding. For governments and policymakers, now comes the difficult task of living up to those commitments.
Security concerns, like ISIS and a revanchist Russia, tend to dominate people’s attention, but less sensational challenges to stability and economic development are piling up as well, threatening to overwhelm humanitarian budgets and prompting governments to shift funding from development to emergency aid.
South Asia is on the front line in confronting the implications of climate change and addressing the consequences for security. To analyse this and more, the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) has just released its report “Climate Change and Security in South Asia”.
On 12 May 2016, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) through its Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) launched its annual publication “The Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID)”, identifying climate change and related natural hazards, such as droughts, sea-level rise and desertification as increasingly important factors causing internal displacement.
Intensive international cooperation is a key prerequisite for successful and ambitious global climate action. Russia, one of the world’s top 5 greenhouse gas emitters and the second largest producer of crude oil and natural gas, has long been regarded as one of the major veto players in international climate politics. Nevertheless, during the last decade climate awareness among Russian policymakers and other relevant stakeholders has increased dramatically. This is illustrated by the fact that the updated Strategy of National Security of the Russian Federation refers to climate change as a threat to national and public security. The Paris Agreement gave the Russian climate policy a new strong impetus.
At a time when migration has become one of the biggest challenges facing the European Union, the debate surrounding the role of environmental factors in fuelling conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, causing migration, is gaining momentum.
This publication by UN Women is part of the project 'Reducing Vulnerability of Women Affected by Climate Change through Viable Livelihood Options', which explores the impacts of migration on women caused by climate change-related phenomena.
The most important and anticipated climate change conference in years is finally underway. In some ways, as Bill McKibben and Andrew Revkin have pointed out, its success is relatively assured thanks to the number of major commitments countries have already made. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see here.
High in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan Mountains, the twin effects of climate change and gold mining have combined to pose a potential environmental and human health disaster.
India, being one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, is at the same time considered one of the most vulnerable countries, in relation to the adverse effects of climate change.
The Tibet government wants massive expansion of the bottled water industry by tapping the Himalayan glaciers, but the environmental stakes are high.