This article focuses on what the South Asian experience can contribute to the larger literature on environment and security and, more particularly, to the literature on human security and sustainable development. It argues that chronic and structural impoverishment—rather than resource scarcity alone— forges the connection between environmental degradation and conflict. It also suggests that poverty and weak institutions of governance are the more immediate triggers of environmental insecurity. As such, analyses of environment and security need to focus more at societal levels and on evidence of social disruption, even where that disruption might not entail violent conflict.