GPS tracker

This report focuses on the environmental stress affecting
security in two case regions, Central Asia and South Eastern Europe. It
provides maps with an overview on major environmental risks to human
development and security. The maps are derived from information gathered
at consultation workshops in Belgrade and Ashgabat, which were attended by
local experts, government and non-government representatives.

The maps in this report reveal numerous environmental hot spots, where
water and groundwater pollution, availability and distribution; legacies
of conflict; industrial and agricultural pollution; toxic and radioactive
waste; land degradation, salinisation and desertification; and depletion
of natural resources negatively impact on economic development and public
health. These effects become national security concerns when they are
combined with high population density or urbanisation, socio-economic
pressures, weak governance structures, and tensions between communities or
transboundary disputes.

Environmental degradation and resource scarcity do not directly lead to
conflict. They can, however, contribute to accelerating already existing
political, social crises and instability. In order to address the
socio-economic aspects of environmental problems, and particularly those
of resource scarcity or resource pressure, migration and social tensions,
integrated approaches that take political, economic, social and
environmental dimensions into consideration are needed. The consultants
stressed that basic policies and measures to address these links already
exist, at global, regional and domestic levels, but implementation and
subnational governance are lacking.

Derived from local expertise and experience, the recommendations given
in this report include reinforcing Transboundary co-operation through
local-level pilot projects; improving and harmonising environmental
monitoring and legal provisions; increasing enforcement capacities on
national and sub-national levels; activating civil society involvement in
policy making and co-ordinating donor activities.

This report follows the first public presentation of the Environment
and Security Initiative (launched in 2002 by UNEP, UNDP and OSCE) at the
fifth Ministerial Conference 'Environment for Europe' in Kiev and connects
with the 11th OSCE Economic Forum in Prague in May 2003. Its aim is to
facilitate a collaborative process between key public officials and
development partners and to address the interconnections between
environmental and security issues.

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