Tag Archives: food security

Tony Blair, conflict and religion: a case of Huntington redux

Last weekend’s Observer carried an article by Tony Blair headlined, ‘Religious difference, not ideology, will fuel this century’s epic battles.’ Hmm, really? Continue reading

Resources – the coming crunch and some things that could be done about it

As I remarked already, and it’s the starting point for the new edition of my State of the World Atlas (published this week), the human population is seven times greater than it was 200 years ago but our use of resources is disproportionately greater still: we produce 50 times as much, using 60 times as much water and 75 times as much energy. Where is that all going – and perhaps more to the point, how long can it keep on going? A new report offers insights. Continue reading

So what’s wrong with the MDGs?

This week’s UN summit will call for a big renewed effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. But there are reasons for starting to think a bit further ahead. A new report from International Alert asks us to get ‘beyond the MDGs”. Continue reading

The EAS: what it takes to succeed

Just before the summer shutdown, the last key decisions were taken to establish the EU’s new External Action Service – the European Parliament on 8 July and the Council of the EU on the 20th. As the EAS starts to become real, what can and should we expect from it? Continue reading

Water, conflict and peace

Water is a basic condition of life. We depend upon it for daily use, for agriculture, for industry and infrastructure. A shortage, an excess and deficient quality can all undermine welfare, impair human security, hold back economic development and in some circumstances generate conflict. The London-based Foreign Policy Centre has published Tackling the World Water Crisis, an edited collection of articles in which mine looks at the peace and security issues around water. Continue reading

After the UK election (2): Three questions on international development

What does the advent of the new government mean for UK policy on international development? Continue reading

Climate change and conflict: respecting complexity

The climate deal won’t happen at Copenhagen in December. The work will continue. And as more people become aware of and motivated by the links between climate change on the one hand and conflict, peace and security on the other, both the possibility and the necessity of clarity about those links increase. It is an area of discussion where making an extra effort of care and precision is justified. Continue reading

Headline thoughts on climate change, conflict risk and adaptation

It is an increasingly familiar argument that the consequences of climate change will interact with key features of the social, economic and political landscape of countries in such a way that, especially among the poorer countries in the world, the risk of violent conflict will rise significantly. The policy agenda for addressing this problem is a combination of peacebuilding and adaptation to climate change, both of them involving a combination of international support for nationally coordinated action that engages the participation and energy of ordinary people and communities. During the week of 8 to 12 June I was in Washington DC gauging how these issues are viewed there.

Here are some headline thoughts, recorded by the Environmental Change and Security Programe at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in DC in connection with a talk I gave for them: (click here). Go to the New Security Beat web-site (see my log roll on the lower right of this home page) for more.

The food fulcrum

A billion are underfed and a billion are overweight. People, that is. Publication of an excellent report on food security by Alex Evans, The Feeding of the Nine Billion, offers an occasion for reflecting on how food sits at the fulcrum of many of the outstanding concerns of today – climate change and conflict, poverty and wealth, deprivation and privilege, power and exclusion. Continue reading