Our world faces increasingly complex threats and risks – and climate change is part of many of them. A growing number of research centres and experts have shown the general nature of these risks and tracked their impact on politics, peace and conflict. The United Nations, the World Economic Forum, NATO, the European Union and many governments have all acknowledged climate change as a challenge to human security and international security. Nonetheless there has been limited momentum to formulate policies to address these risks. This is partly because the risks are still underestimated and poorly understood in mainstream defence and foreign policy circles.
The Planetary Security Initiative has been launched to help remedy this problem – to spread knowledge, to deepen knowledge where necessary, and to develop and promote policies and good practice guidance to help governments, the private sector and international institutions manage climate-security risks.
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) in 2015. In the Spring of 2016 Clingendael was selected to implement the continuation of the PSI together with a consortium of leading think tanks working on this topic. The goal of the PSI is to strengthen the knowledge-policy interface by consolidating the community of practice on planetary security, key to this is its core outputs.
A central element of the PSI will be the “milestones” of the annual conferences organised in The Hague, the city of peace and justice. The 2016 conference will be organised again in the Peace Palace, which underlines the focus on how tackling planetary security questions is essential to furthering international cooperation, conflict prevention and sustainable peace. Over the 3-year period we aim for a steadily growing number of participants and from this, establish a sustainable, global community.
The annual conferences will provide an opportunity for the community of practice on this topic to meet in person. In addition, the consortium will ensure that the PSI links to other networks and has the visibility that is necessary to link up and enlarge the community of practice.
Furthermore, a the PSI will adopt a strong digital presence, serving to facilitate information to the general public, attract stakeholders, and increase thematic awareness. These platforms will also assist in expanding the global community and ensure the longevity of the global community.
The annual conferences are intended to be supported by two substantial reports, framing a broad theme in advance of the actual conference and providing a “solution narrative” for policy makers. During the conference, twelve or more workshops will provide the basis for tailored policy briefs on the contemporary key topics individually selected for each conference.
Besides the indented reports and policy briefs, the PSI anticipates a number of supportive publications in the form of op-eds, country studies, infographics, interviews, commentaries,+ interactive tools and more.