The Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative
Background and geographical scope
The Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative was founded in 2003 to address these linkages between the environment and security. Since then, the Initiative has developed into a unique multi-agency programme operating in four regions: Eastern Europe, South-Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
The ENVSEC Initiative is a partnership of five international organizations – the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) ,– with specialized, but complementary mandates and expertise, that provides an integrated response to environment and security challenges.
ENVSEC works in four focus areas, i.e
- natural resources,
- hazardous substances,
- climate change,
- information and participation.
ENVSEC priorities for Central Asia
Priority 1: Dialogue and cooperation on shared resources
Priority 2: Reduction of risks to security and stability from hazardous practices
Priority 3: Increased resilience to security impacts of climate change
Priority 4: Raising awareness and strengthening capacities and participatory mechanisms on environment and security issues
Types of support provided
The ENVSEC approach consists in four main steps:
- Assess the situation on the ground and map the problems ("hotspots") in a participatory way;
- Draw the attention of politicians and people to these "hotspots" and gain recognition and political support;
- Develop corresponding regional work programmes and project portfolios;
- Support concrete actions and catalyze specific solutions to address the identified and security concerns on the ground.
The ENVSEC approach aims at achieving the following inter-related products:
- Vulnerability assessments, early warning and monitoring of environment and security risks;
- Improved capacities of national institutions for more effective environment and security policies, and stronger institutional dialogue;
- Technical expertise and financial resources mobilized for clean-up and remediation;
- Increased knowledge and awareness about the linkages between environment and security risks, and enhanced participation of interested actors in activities that aim at preventing and reducing these risks.
More information on ENVSEC approaches and projects is available from their homepage.
ENVSEC contact details for Central Asia are available here.