Our 11th Roundtable was held online on 22 April, Earth Day, on the topic of Building a transatlantic coalition for climate action on water and security challenges in countries of risk. The meeting was co-hosted by the Netherlands Water Peace and Security partnership and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The discussion was moderated by Netherlands Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Henk Ovink, with an expert panel that included:
- Sharon Burke, Senior Advisor, International Security Program, New America
- Benedetta Berti, Head of Policy Planning, NATO Office of Secretary General
- Hinrich Thoelken, Climate Envoy, GermanFederal Foreign Office
- Tom Middendorp, Chair, International Military Council on Climate and Security
Note that the 11th Roundtable meeting originally planned for July 2020 in Manila, Philippines, was postponed due to Covid-19 precautions.
10th Roundtable meeting
More than 80 participants met on 12 Sept. 2019 at the German Residence in The Hague to strategize on cooperation action facing Extreme Weather Disasters: Resilience, Forecasting & Cooperation. Head of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Ronald Jackson, joined the meeting by video to report on recovery missions in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian, and what is needed to build future resilience. The meeting was hosted by the Embassy of Germany to the Netherlands.
Greater attention to prevention in imminent climate-related events, including disbursing funds ahead of disasters to increase resilience, was a key discussion topic. Participants also strategized on how to better mobilize the private sector and reinsurance organizations in climate adaptation, as political agendas may be focused on limited terms of 4 – 5 years. Positive signals were indicated in paving ways to apply current public and institutional climate momentum, while being sure to build upon local/regional initiatives that are showing signs of effectiveness.
In his video presentation, Ronald Jackson of CDEMA said that focusing on climate resilience as a development issue has more potential to bridge sector gaps. And Roundtable panelist Jamie Shea said that the destruction of Hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas “has been compared to a nuclear attack, and it is important to mobilize the security community, including the military, because climate is the number one security threat to all of us, and the military have a lot to offer in rapid humanitarian response and advance planning.” Mr. Shea added that the Roundtable could help steer dialogues away from the “bad news” of climate threats to a more positive direction of joint preventative action.
- Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow, Friends of Europe, Brussels; and Sec. Gen. of GMACCC (Former NATO Dep. Asst. Sec. Gen. for Emerging Security Challenges)
- Michaela Spaeth, Director for Energy and Climate Policy, German Federal Foreign Office
- Maarten van Aalst, Director of Red Cross Climate Centre & Professor of Spatial Resilience for Disaster Risk Reduction at University of Twente
- Ann Vaughan, Mercy Corps, Advocacy Lead / Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance
Slideshow from the 10th Hague Roundtable
In photo below: The 9th Roundtable was held on Friday 5 July 2019 at the Humanity Hub in The Hague. Co-hosted by PHB Development, around 40 participants explored innovation in water resources in Africa and Asia, including of mobile technology in data applications for agriculture. “Who owns the data?” was a recurring consideration with impacts on resources, land and human rights in developing countries – as all participants voiced their expertise and questions in the forum session of the meeting.
Download the report from the 9th Roundtable
The Hague Roundtable on Climate & Security is an independent forum to promote international cooperation in adapting to climate risks to human well-being, sustainable development, peace and political stability. Created in 2015, participants from representatives of governments and organizations share information and strategies in adaptation regarding water resources, natural disasters, sea level rise, migration, potential conflict and stability of fragile states.