MEDIA ADVISORY: Environment Still Key to Global Security, Says ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko

"An Uncommon Peace" Part of Environment Magazine's Series on Brundtland Report

May 12, 2008

WASHINGTON—Twenty years after the release of the Brundtland report Our Common Future, ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko says that global security still depends on the health of our environment. In an article in the May/June 2008 issue of Environment, he reviews the successes and failures of efforts over the last two decades to integrate environmental concerns into national and international security agendas. "We must draw lessons from environmental security's history if we are to address the multiple threats—and opportunities—posed by environment-security links today," says Dabelko.

Dabelko's article, "An Uncommon Peace: Environment, Development, and the Global Security Agenda," is part of a year-long series in Environment commemorating the 20th anniversary of Our Common Future—also known as the Brundtland report, after the chair of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, Gro Harlem Brundtland. A defining document in the history of international environmental cooperation, the Brundtland report urged leaders and policymakers to expand the definition of security to include local, regional, and global environmental factors.

In "Wars over Resources? Evidence from Somalia," another article in the May/June 2008 issue, Christian Webersik, a UN University postdoctoral fellow, finds that ethnicity, clan relations, and an economic stake in war are perhaps more influential in sustaining violence in the troubled nation than the battle to control resources.

Media should contact Erin Mosely at erin.mosely@wilsoncenter.org or (202) 691-4266.

Environment is a peer-reviewed magazine that analyzes the problems, places, and people where environment and development come together, illuminating concerns from the local to the global. Media inquiries may be directed to Torey Doverspike, marketing manager, at 202-296-6267, ext. 1203. For more information about Environment, contact Sarah Beam, managing editor, at 202-296-6267, ext. 1234.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

Since 1994, the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program has explored the connections among environmental challenges and their links to conflict and security.

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  • Sandeep Bathala // Senior Program Associate, Environmental Change and Security Program, Maternal Health Initiative
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