News: In-Depth Recap: Understanding Climate Change Impacts, Gender and Security, 12-Apr-2022

On April 12, 2022, the International Military Staff (IMS) Gender Advisor, Lt. Col. Katherine Prudhoe, and the staff hosted their second in-depth session focusing on the Triple Bond between climate change, the gender perspective and security. This session highlighted the ecological risks to security and military planning as well as the importance of integrating a gender perspective.

Subject matter expertise was provided by Ms. Gergana Vaklinova, Head of the Concept Development and Experimentation Section for the NATO Center of Excellence for Crisis Management and Disaster Response (CMDR CoE), Lt. Col. Matthias Duchscherer, Gender Adviser for the Dutch-German Corps, and Col. Thammy Evans, Senior Researcher at the Atlantic Council GeoTech Centre. Participants in the hybrid event included colleagues from the International and International Military Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Allied Command Transformation (ACT), as well as members of various centers of excellence.

Each speaker shared their perspective on the different challenges, opportunities and ways forward on this crucial link. It was noted that a “gender analysis [on climate change] could prove to be a fundamental game-changer in mitigating the potential impact on root causes and drivers of conflict in the future”. The fruitful discussion led to exchanges on the escalation of conflicts due to the increase in climate vulnerabilities, the recognition of the impacts of climate change in both the North and the South through a gender perspective, and the understanding that gender trainings can be seen as the first step. but greater recognition of gender indicators and their implication for conflict or the environment needs to be developed.

“It is crucial to have a good understanding of the gender perspective in developing policies that will affect not only NATO Allies, but the world as a whole. As the world faces threats of change rapidly accelerating climate and conflict, speakers urged participants to remember that these issues affect everyone, but not in the same way,” Lt. Col. Prudhoe concluded.

Over the past few years, NATO has taken many steps to address security concerns related to climate change and continues to make progress on this topic with its upcoming Climate Change Impact Assessment, as well as the first report of step on climate change and security.

Teresa H. Sadler