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BRIEFER: Climate Change and Vietnamese Fisheries, Opportunities for Conflict Prevention

The Center for Climate and Security’s Dr. Marcus Dubois King writes about the climate change-fisheries-conflict nexus in a new briefer titled “Climate Change and Vietnamese Fisheries: Opportunities for Conflict Prevention.” The article will also appear in a forthcoming multi-author volume from the Center. For the full briefer, click here. For a summary, see below.

Summary: Climate Change and Vietnamese Fisheries: Opportunities for Conflict Prevention

Vietnamese fisheries in the South China Sea are a vital economic resource that is in decline and susceptible to climate change. Chinese vessels have engaged Vietnamese counterparts as they pursue catches in waters claimed by China. Projected further northward migration of fish stocks into these waters caused by warming ocean temperatures could aggravate tensions as Vietnamese fishers follow. Likewise, climate change’s impacts on Vietnamese aquaculture threaten food security in areas including those experiencing heavy inward migration. Ethnic minority groups experience a disproportionate share of the negative consequences; a situation that may aggravate existing tensions. Vietnam is an emerging strategic partner in the region. Vietnamese conflict with China and internal instability are inimical to U.S. interests. As it rebalances foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific, the U.S. government should dedicate more resources, including military assets and climate finance, toward improving climate resilience and fisheries management in Vietnam. Constructive engagement on climate change can promote Vietnamese internal and external security while reducing the possibility of conflict with China. Click here for the full briefer.

The United States and Russia in a Changing Arctic

Russian_arctic_claimWe are hearing a lot lately about U.S.-Russia relations, from the diplomatic kerfuffle over Edward Snowden, to tensions over intervention in Syria.

Less visibly, U.S. and Russian interactions over a rapidly-changing Arctic are getting interesting. The U.S. and Russia have shared the Arctic since the former purchased Alaska from the latter (in its Imperial form) in 1867, but the effects of climate change may lead the two powers into uncharted waters, both literally and figuratively. (more…)

Climate Change in Russia Affecting U.S. Consumers (and vice-versa)

Russia Beyond the Headlines just ran a piece on Russia’s declining grain harvest (which resulted from drought in recent years), and how that might be affecting food prices in the United States, highlighting that in the U.S. this year “prices for No. 1 Hard Red Winter wheat soared from $270 per bushel in May to $340 in early September.”

But the relationship is reciprocal: (more…)

New Research: Global Flood Hotspots, and Climate Resilience

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) have launched a project “focused on identifying the global flood hotspots for climate mitigation studies and mapping flood risks areas using satellite remote-sensing datasets.” An interesting, though not necessarily surprising, set of findings from the research: (more…)

Security Implications of Glacial Melt in Central Asia

The Central Asian region is of critical strategic importance to the United States and its NATO allies. That is why, on top of environmental and humanitarian concerns associated with the phenomenon, rapid glacial melt in the region should be a top concern for national security planners and practitioners. (more…)

Kyrgyzstan: Climate Change, Water and Regional Security

The nation of Kyrgyzstan is a place of geopolitical importance, a provider of critical water resources for the Central Asian region, and a highly unstable place. It also sits in a neighborhood of mistrust, enjoying especially strained relations with Uzbekistan to the southwest, and existing in close proximity to large unstable nations to the east, such as Afghanistan. The effects of a changing climate, which are likely to impact the country’s and the region’s vital water resources, should thus be a matter for serious global and regional attention. (more…)

How China, Russia, the UK and US Militaries Deal With Climate Change

An interesting short piece at e-International Relations on the degree to which the militaries of some of the world’s major powers (China, Russia, UK and the US) incorporate climate change into their planning and operations.