U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) and the Australian Department of Defence (ADoD) recently hosted the 2013 Pacific Environmental Security Forum, an 18-country gathering charged with answering the question: “As climate change continues to increase both the intensity and frequency of natural disasters, how should militaries in the Pacific region respond?”
According to the senior U.S. delegation representative, Brigadier General Mark McLeod, the answer to that question was “Crystal clear, unanimous consensus on the need to build cooperation and partner capacity to lower our risk…Never before have we been able to bring together so many to draw attention to the importance of environmental security in military planning.”
There was also progress made on advancing multilateral agreement amongst Pacific states on how to collaboratively address environmental security issues. According to the USPACOM website:
Lessons learned and shared at the Forum affirmed that climate change requires a proactive military response, the sharing of information, and a common approach to capacity development-including multilateral exercises and security assistance. These lessons set the stage for the first-ever multilateral baseline for future environmental sustainability, biosecurity and disaster management collaboration. “What this week’s Forum has shown us is that environmental security must be elevated to the forefront of planning,” said McLeod.
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