The Environment and Security Initiative celebrates 10 years

Celebrating 10 years of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC), governments and experts, beneficiaries and donors, gathered in Brussels to share their achievements, and to debate lessons learned and future priorities concerning the environment and security.

At the meeting, the publication “Transforming risks into cooperation - Environment and Security Initiative 2003-2013” was launched, summing up results, lessons learned, and best practices of the first ten years of the Initiative. The Initiative has worked with around 30 partner countries and over 100 local and international partners, implementing more than 150 environment and security projects to the benefit of approximately 170 million people. The experience gained over the past decade by ENVSEC shows that shared environmental risks can be transformed into opportunities for regional and cross-regional cooperation that lay the foundations for sustainable development. Joint monitoring and early warning systems, transboundary environmental protection areas, and international river basin agreements are all encouraging examples of progress achieved through cooperation among the countries where ENVSEC operates. These achievements have been made possible with the long term support of Finland, Austria, Canada and Sweden as well as other sponsors of the ENVSEC work.

At the meeting, ENVSEC partners shared examples of results and experiences on the ground; from transboundary management of the Dniester and the Drin water basins, civil society participation through the Aarhus Centres and hazardous uranium waste management in Kyrgyzstan, to the recently initiated project on assessing and addressing security impacts of climate change, being carried out in cooperation with the EU Instrument for Stability.

The panel discussion on the 21st century environment and security challenges, recognized that action on addressing security impacts of climate change is a key to long term stability in the wider European region, and good transboundary water management remains crucial to sustainable development and peace. Participants noted also that the political and environmental challenges of the Arctic deserve attention of various international actors.

Going forwards, the ENVSEC Initiative and its partner countries will continue to assess and address environment and security hot spots, and to promote coordinated adaptation strategies to climate change as well as shared regional approaches to transboundary river basins, mountains, and hazardous waste, in order for the countries to protect human security and enhance stability.

Documents linked to this event:

- ENVSEC partners meeting programme

- List of Participants

- Presentation by Christine Kitzler: ENVSEC as a partnership to address climate change as a challenge to stability

- Presentation by Dejan Panovski: Building confidence and cooperation through transboundary water management (Drin case)

- Presentation by Ilya Trombitsky: Building confidence and cooperation through transboundary water management (Dniester case)

- Presentation by Anarkul Aitaliev: Problems of Uranium Tailings in the Kyrgyz Republic. Challenges and risks for sustainable development

- Presentation by Dmitriy Prudtskikh. Civil society participation to promote stability and sustainable development

- Presentation by Marika Palosaari: Decade of ENVSEC, transforming environment and security risks into cooperation

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