Environmental Security

A Land on Fire: The Environmental Consequences of the Southeast Asian Boom

Over the past two decades, Southeast Asia has been on fire, both figuratively and literally. Economies throughout the region have exploded, taking advantage of small production costs and a low-paid, highly motivated workforce. At the same time, to fuel rapid growth, forests have been stripped for lumber and the land torched for new agricultural opportunities. Indeed, economic success has often come at the expense of the environment and with sixty percent of the world's population, environmental degradation in Southeast Asia has potential worldwide effect.

Harnessing the Waters: Nature Conquest in China's Past and Present

Perhaps no other issue in China today receives more news media attention than construction of the Three Gorges Dam. On billboards and in state-run media, the Chinese government trumpets the dam as a sign of the country's ability to achieve advanced engineering feats on par with the West; while concerned scientists, scholars, and activists around the world condemn the project as an ecological and social catastrophe. On 1 June 2003, the dam's reservoir officially began to take water.

The Convergence of Science and Engineering for Sustaining Coastal Landscapes – Case Study: Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast

Following the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the State of Louisiana assembled experts in coastal restoration as well as transportation and levee specialists to develop the first fully integrated plan to save coastal Louisiana in history – Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection: Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The plan is a paradigm of cooperation, employing a comprehensive, systems approach to protect Louisiana's coast, its population, vital infrastructure, and habitat in a place of world ecological significance.

Urbanization and Health in Developing World Cities

After fading from the agenda over the past fifteen to twenty years, urban health is recapturing the attention of policy makers and international health advocates worldwide. With rapid rates of urbanization, cities are struggling to provide a host of services and infrastructure for old and new populations alike.

About

Since 1994, the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) has actively pursued the connections between the environment, health, population, development, conflict, and security. ECSP brings together scholars, policymakers, media, and practitioners through events, research, publications, multimedia content, and our award-winning blog, New Security Beat.

ECSP currently has three primary focus areas:

Yemen Beyond the Headlines: Population, Health, Natural Resources, and Institutions

"Ultimately, whether Yemen is able to achieve its goals for social and economic development, will, to a large extent, depend on its future population growth and size," said Gary Cook, senior health advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development, in his opening address at the Woodrow Wilson Center's all-day conference, "Yemen Behind the Headlines: Population, Health, Natural Resources, and Institutions."

Panel I: Population and Development Challenges

Connections Between Climate and Stability: Lessons from Asia and Africa

"We, alongside this growing consensus of research institutes, analysts, and security agencies on both sides of the Atlantic, think of climate change as a risk multiplier; as something that will amplify existing social, political, and resource stressors," said Janani Vivekananda of International Alert.

Bolstering Global Food Security

Dramatic events over the last year have shed light on the problem of global food security: massive fires in Russia, which reduced wheat supplies; famine and drought in Niger and Chad; and food price riots in the Middle East and elsewhere. These stresses come amid price spikes that echo the food crises of 2008 and reveal the linked nature of food security today.

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