Environmental Security

The Precarious State of Our Oceans

Humanity has had an unequivocal impact on the world’s oceans and our continued growth in population has seen a declining rate in fish populations and the growth of hypoxic zones devoid of animal life. A recent study by the University of California Santa Barbara points to the role of human activity in degrading marine fauna.

On February 25, a panel of experts will discuss how the oceans are reacting to the growing threat from humans and what can be done from a biological and security standpoint.

High Stakes: How This Year’s Climate Negotiations Will Impact National Security

Expectations for the upcoming UN climate change summit in Paris are higher than they’ve been in years. Experts expect it will be the best chance to achieve a binding, universal agreement to limit carbon emissions.

Food Security & Population Dynamics in the Sahel

Africa’s Sahel region is one of the most harsh environments on the planet with one of the highest birth rates as well. Food security, particularly when combined with population dynamics and the impact of climate change, is a monumental challenge. The Wilson Center’s Roger-Mark De Souza just returned from Niger, where he met with experts from a variety of countries for the purpose of identifying what works and what doesn’t. We discuss what he learned in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

The Pressing Need to Define U.S. Arctic Interests

President Obama’s weekend proposal for new wilderness protections in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, his proposed limits on offshore leasing and new production in the National Petroleum Reserve, along with his recent Executive Order, “Enhancing Coordination of National Efforts in the Arctic,” suggests that the White House has begun to move quickly on developing and trying to coordinate its Arctic policy.

From Farm to Roundtable: Innovative Partnerships to Improve China's Meat Supply Chains

The first amendments to China's Food Safety Law are likely to pass this year and they will bring new tracking and training systems, stricter health standards, and higher penalties for illegal production and management of food and food additives. To increase the efficiency, safety and sustainability of the country's food supply chains, especially meat, the Chinese government and industries also have expanded partnerships with international organizations.

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

Author, journalist, and professor, Alan Weisman tackles the big issue of global population growth in his newest book. His travels to dozens of countries in pursuit of answers led him to one x-factor that he believes holds the key to a sustainable future. From climate change, to energy, to agriculture, population is the reality that transcends all other issues. As Weisman puts it, everyone “is addicted to energy and food,” and more people equals resources stretched beyond capacity.

Roger-Mark De Souza on Linking Climate, Security and Development to Fragility in Haiti

As part of the Fall 2014 Haiti Dialogue Series organized by the Earth Institute’s Haiti Research and Policy Program, Roger-Mark de Souza joined a group of faculty, researchers, students and policymakers to discuss the latest research linking climate change, natural hazards, development and fragility in Haiti. Haiti has one of the world’s highest exposures to natural hazards along with one of the lowest income growth rates, which has subjected the country to chronic severe stress and trapped it

Living Through Extremes: Building Livelihood Resilience Across Sectors and Countries

As climate change upends established patterns of life, resilience – the ability of social and ecological systems to mitigate, endure, and adapt to short-term shocks and long-term stressors – has become a buzzword in development and humanitarian circles.

Responding to Climate Change: Will New Warnings Lead to Action?

With every new report issued, increasingly dire warnings about present and future threats posed by a warming planet suggest a more vigorous response than has been seen to date. Political action has been slowed or stymied by ideological debates that have little to do with the world of science or realities on the ground. Such inaction raises questions about whether any sector of society is adequately responding to the challenge or if there is even time to do so. A new round of international meetings will soon begin.

Preserving the Amazon: A Race Against Time

Researchers from the United States and the state of São Paulo met at a FAPESP (Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo) symposium in Washington, DC to present the latest findings from their studies of the Amazon. The “FAPESP-U.S. Collaborative Research on the Amazon” meeting was organized in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Brazil Institute of the Wilson Center. One of the featured speakers was noted biodiversity expert, Tom Lovejoy. We spoke with him about the state of the Amazon and efforts to preserve its endangered ecosystem.

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