Climate change has slowly but surely become central to conceptualising global security and peace. The link between climate change and increased unrest leading ultimately to potential violent conflict seems tenuous to some but in a theatre of increased fragility and risks of insecurity, these are not far-fetched ideas but can manifest as real-life scenarios for millions. As we realise the connections between climate change and global security and peace, we should turn our attention towards how climate change, as an international agenda is being framed and understood.
Rational scientific framing has revealed important insights on the impacts of climate change but a human security framework takes a different approach. It adds a crucial dimension of importance in examining the security and stability of Humans – as a representative term for the species – as well as humans – as individuals organised into collectives and communities and their networks, to weather the impacts of crises. By now, we’ve seen globally, how social and economic growth and progress has resulted in an aggregative push upwards for all, but the ‘downside risks’ of a crisis are selective in terms of who bears the brunt. COVID-19 has merely magnified this phenomenon. If we are looking to create greater capabilities and resilience for communities to be able to adapt to climate change, we will need to shore up their resilience to ‘downside risks’.
This webinar aims to bring together a panel of experts to discuss how the issue of climate change can be viewed through a human security lens. How might a human security framing highlight climate-related insecurity? How will it help understand specific vulnerabilities? Can it assist in knowledge production that can inform policies? Can it help protect development gains by focusing on areas of social risk? But most importantly, it seeks to investigate how an alternative framing, in addition to the current narratives around climate change, might ensure the security and stability of communities in a new climate future.
About the Speakers
Assistant Professor Oscar A. Gómez is Assistant Professor at the College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Japan. My main interest is in global governance and the practice of human security ideas, particularly in relation to (humanitarian) crises (disasters, forced displacement, conflict, pandemics, climate change). He was a Research Fellow at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute for 5 years, and has helped draft several papers for UNDPs Human Development Reports (2014, 2016, 2020, ongoing). Some of his recent publications include “Localization or deglobalization? East Asia and the dismantling of liberal humanitarianism” in Third World Quarterly and “Protecting our human world order: A human security compass for a new sustainability decade” (with Hanatani, A., Murotani, R., Kubokura, K., Makimoto, S., Muto, A., & Assa, J), a background paper for UNDP.
Dr Maria Tanyag is a Lecturer at the International Relations Department, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australia National University and a resident Women, Peace and Security Fellow at Pacific Forum International (Hawaii). Her new research agenda broadly seeks to understand gendered insecurities, contestations, and transformations in a global context of multiple and intersecting crises – from COVID-19 to climate change. Her most recent publications are: “Sexual Health and World Peace” in the Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research, “A Feminist Call to Be Radical: Linking Women’s Health and Planetary Health” in the journal, Politics & Gender, and “How Feminist Research will Help Solve the Climate Crisis” (available in Spanish). In 2020, Maria was one of the contributing authors to the global report on Gender, Climate and Security: Sustaining inclusive peace on the frontlines of climate change published by UNEP, UN Women, UN DPPA, and UNDP. Twitter: @maria_tanyag.
Dr Serina Abdul Rahman is a Visiting Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore, where her research includes sustainable development, rural politics and political ecology. She is also Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NUS Department of Southeast Asian Studies. When not at her day jobs, the rest of her life is taken up by Kelab Alami, a community organisation that she co-founded in 2008 to help the people of Mukim Tg Kupang, Johor, participate in and benefit from urbanisation and development. Trained as a conservation scientist, her practice is in community empowerment for habitat conservation and marine human-habitat interactions.
Associate Professor Alan Chong is Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He has published widely on the notion of soft power and the role of ideas in constructing the international relations of Singapore and Asia in publications such as Contemporary Southeast Asia, The Pacific Review; International Relations of the Asia-Pacific; Asian Survey, the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and Armed Forces and Society. He is currently working on several projects exploring the notion of “Asian international theory”.
Dr Tamara Nair is Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Dr Nair’s current research focuses on issues of power in Development Studies and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in the region. She is Singapore’s representative of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry and has authored the 2018 Human Rights and Peace Education Report for Singapore. She is also the representative for Nanyang Technological University for the ASEAN University Network on Human Rights and Peace Education. She has published in Development Studies journals; writing on marginalised communities and sustainable development, issues of gender, and power and subject creation.