Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP)

Since 1994, the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) has explored the connections among environmental, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy. ECSP brings together scholars, policymakers, the media, and practitioners through events, research, publications, multimedia content (audio and video), and our daily blog, New Security Beat. ECSP currently has three primary topical focus areas: 1. Integrated Development: Health, Environment, Livelihoods, Population, and Security (HELPS – a project funded by the USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health): The world’s poor face a complex set of interconnected development challenges. Global population dynamics such as urbanization, youth bulges, and migration can affect political stability and conflict dynamics. ECSP serves as a forum for presenting new research and debating practical policy options on population-health-environment connections and demographic security in developing countries. 2. Environment, Conflict, and Security: Natural resources are increasingly factors in conflict outcomes and the security of states. Climate change is expected to act as a threat multiplier in many security contexts. Yet environmental interdependence is proving a powerful incentive for cooperation and peacebuilding. ECSP works with policymakers, practitioners, and scholars to debate new research and develop policy responses in environmental, diplomatic, development, and security realms. 3. Water: Changes in water availability pose fundamental challenges to health, development, and stability of communities and states. ECSP programs and publications focus on water’s potential to spur conflict and cooperation, its social and economic value, and its relationship to health and disease.