Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Climate change ‘threat multiplier to national, human security’

Rasheed Khalid in the News (Pakistan): The debate on climate change necessitates re-definition of security from the state to the individual, which implies ensuring the political, social and economic rights through social, economic and political reforms. Head of Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at National Defence University Dr Noman Omar Sattar stated this at seminar on ‘Looming dangers of climate change on national and human security’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute here on Monday.

He said that while human security is linked to political liberalism, extraneous factors such as environment and climate change can have serious impact as well adding Pakistan faced threats from natural disasters while the threat of terrorism also assumed greater significance than traditional threats.

He said that the climate change is a threat multiplier to national and human security and is a complex challenge to global community especially for resource-starved developing countries. The US in its 2006, national security strategy assigned its defense department to plan for deadly pandemics and other natural disasters, he added.

He said that environmental neglect coupled with poverty can turn hazards into disasters adding that poverty is a bad mix and is a factor that makes poor and developing countries more vulnerable against natural and man-made disasters.

He said that declining ecosystem services, threat of climate change and HIV/AIDS-related problems combine to create or exacerbate political instability and economic hardship for millions in Africa clearly explains this linkage as to why 90 per cent of current conflicts are found in 30 per cent of the poorest countries. He called for more debates on media on environmental issues and political will of the leaders for dealing with this challenge….

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