Security sectors in most countries have strong assets in the areas of logistics, manpower and heavy equipment. Due to this, they are well-placed to hold mandates to fight environmental crime and support civilian disaster relief efforts. In some cases, civil protection agencies are included as part of the security sector, as these agencies also contribute to human security.

Fragile countries are not only affected by underfunded state institutions and services but also belong to the more vulnerable to climate change and environmental crimes. In such situation of limited availability of economic resources, the security sector is often regarded as crucial and hence experiences less severe financial impacts. Facing cascading and mutually reinforcing climate and environmental risks, the security sectors’ abilities and preparedness for strategic foresight, risk assessments and scenario planning play a major role. With natural disasters on the rise and risks of environmental crimes exacerbating the fragility, the security sectors’ assets need to be utilized to support disaster relief, environmental protection and climate change adaptation.

What is the Link Between Climate and Environmental Security and the Security Sector?

Security sectors are in a unique position in their access to stakeholders and partners, spanning from the highest-level political decision makers, to multistakeholder platforms on disaster management, to being the only state presence left in fragile remote areas. Sometimes, it is in those contexts where environmental crimes are committed to sponsor groups that undermine stability and human security.

In the context of climate change and environmental degradation, it is important to explore opportunities for security institutions to collaborate more effectively with among others traditional leaders, women’s associations, local security councils, and other stakeholder who can share valuable knowledge on climate and environmental risk factors as well as local and often nature-based solutions which can contribute to greater resilience.

ISSAT's work on climate security aims to open pathways for donors to start investing in security sector reform assistance linked to environmental and climate related security, in line with the human security global agenda.


Photo: DCAF