"Natural resources and environmental issues are key to livelihoodsÂ…[and] to the health and well-being of populations, communities, and, ultimately, countries," said Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) Director Geoff Dabelko at an October 30, 2008, talk he delivered as part of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health's "Connecting Sustainability and Health" lecture series. He urged the audience to view a healthy environment not as a luxury for the rich, but as a necessary component of any prosperous and stable society.

The extraction of natural resources like diamonds and timber has fuelled deadly conflicts, said Dabelko, but transparent and equitable governance of natural resources is key to achieving peace in impoverished post-conflict countries where most people depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. Dabelko was the eighth and final speaker in the series, which was co-sponsored by the Department of Health, Behavior and Society; the program on Global Sustainability and Health; and the Center for a Livable Future.