Delft, The Netherlands, 26 Sep 2017

IHE Delft hosts 6th Roundtable on Climate & Security

IHE Delft hosted the sixth meeting of The Hague Roundtable on Climate & Security on 21 September. Rector Dr. Eddy Moors welcomed ambassadors and officers from 20 countries and 14 NGOs who came together for the half-day meeting to discuss cooperation in adapting to impacts of climate change.

Climate, water and migration on regional stability

The theme of the meeting was the relationship of climate, water and migration on regional stability. Participants shared their concerns and ideas on issues including too much water (flooding and sea level rise), too little water (droughts with rising temperatures), and potential mass migration and conflict. Major General (Ret.) A N M Muniruzzaman of Bangladesh addressed the meeting via Skype to call for global action in addressing Bangladesh’s current challenges that can have regional consequences.

The importance of water resources to security at a global level was examined in the context of the UN Security Council with emphasis on cooperation, to reduce threats to peace and stability. “Climate impacts have changed everything and it’s increasingly crucial to connect scientific researchers and policy makers,” said Alexander Verbeek, Planetary Security Initiative founder & former Dutch MFA strategic advisor, who led a brainstorming session with attendees on responding to climate-related crises.

Dr. Moors said that “all countries require regional and international approaches to face these challenges.” He added that it is important to include climate and security on international agendas, so that governments and organizations can have a better understanding and plan effective action for areas of need.

In presentations, Dr. Louise van Schaik of Clingendael Institute examined migration push and pull factors that can affect Europe and other continents in the context of climate impacts. Zaki Shubber of IHE Delft led discussions on the role of water diplomacy to lower the risk of national and regional conflicts, and the Institute’s Professor Maria Kennedy presented innovations in desalination technology, that could ease water stress and instability. Exchanges took place throughout the meeting with participants, to identify current and future hot spots, and how to best meet common challenges.

The Hague Roundtable on Climate and Security is an initiative created and organized by Matt Luna of IHE Delft and the Institute for Environmental Security to share strategies on climate risks to issues including natural resource availability, food security, migration, disaster response, and stability of fragile states. The Roundtable supports the Planetary Security Initiative of the Netherlands as a platform for ongoing international dialogue in a local platform. 

Download the report on the block on the right side.

Roundtable presentations

  • Responses to emerging climate impacts at a global level: Alexander Verbeek, Planetary Security Initiative founder & former Dutch MFA strategic advisor
  • Climate change, migration and security: Dr. Louise van Schaik of Clingendael Institute for International Relations
  • Innovations in desalination to alleviate water stress: Prof. Maria Kennedy, IHE Delft
  • Bangladesh land and vital forests lost to rising waters, saline intrusion and urgency of a regional approach to mitigate the impacts Major General (Ret.) A N M Muniruzzaman of Bangladesh (via Skype)
  • The role of water diplomacy in reducing potential for conflict and migration:  Zaki Shubber, Lecturer in Law and Water Diplomacy at IHE Delft
  • The need for global engagement in protecting ecosystems: Wouter Veening, Chairman of Institute for Environmental Security

Embassies/Countries/Organizations represented

Clingendael

IHE Delft

Institute for Environmental Security (IES)

Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)

Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC)

Royal Netherlands Army Civilian Relations/Ranger Campus

Asser Institute

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Cordaid

Red Cross Climate Centre

Wageningen University

Deltares

German Institute for International and Security Affairs

TU Delft

Algeria

Argentina

Australia

Bangladesh

Cameroon

Canada

Chile

France

Germany

Iran

Iraq

Kenya

Morocco

the Netherlands

Nicaragua

Panama

Saudi Arabia

Sri Lanka

United States

Vietnam